Highfin Velvetfish, Cocotropus altipinnis Waite 1903

Highfin Velvetfish, Cocotropus altipinnis. Source: E.R. Waite, 1903 - Additions to the fish-fauna of Lord Howe Island, No. 3. License: Copyright expired

A red velvetfish with a distinct pale spot on the body below the spinous dorsal fin, and orange pectoral fins with the lower margin paler and crossed by some red bars.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Cocotropus altipinnis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/1743

Highfin Velvetfish, Cocotropus altipinnis Waite 1903

More Info


Known only from Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea.


Dorsal fin XIII,10 (last ray simple); Anal fin I,8-9; Pectoral fin 13 ; Pelvic fin I,3; Gill rakers 0 + 10 = 10; Vertebrae 28. 

Preopercular spines 5; upper jaw relatively short, shorter than length of lachrimal, 10-11% SL; a stubby fleshy papilla or cirrus near rear end of maxilla; papillae present on outer edge of lower jaw; anterior tip of isthmus reaching level of 5th sensory pore on lower jaw.
Dorsal fin originating before anterior margin of eye, anterior spines robust, elongated.


The specific name altipinnis is from the Latin alti- (= elongate), and pinnis (= fin), presumably in reference to the tall anterior dorsal-fin spines.

Species Citation

Cocotropus altipinnis Waite 1903, Records of the Australian Museum 5(1): 41, 44, pl. 5 (fig.2). Type locality: Lord Howe Island.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Highfin Velvetfish, Cocotropus altipinnis Waite 1903


Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2 

Francis, M. 2022. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec islands December 2022. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.21563766.v2

Fricke, R. 2004. Cocotropus richeri, a new species of velvetfish (Teleostei: Aploactinidae) from Lifou, Loyalty Islands. Stuttgarter Beitr├Ąge zur Naturkunde Ser. A, No. 660: 1-7. See ref online

Imamura, H. & Shinohara, G. 2003. Cocotropus keramaensis, a new species of the family Aploactinidae (Teleostei) from the Kerama Islands, southern Japan. Ichthyological Research 50(3): 233-238.

Johnson, J.W. 2004. Two new species and two new records of aploactinid fishes (Pisces: Scorpaeniformes) from Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 56(2): 179-188 https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.56.2004.1421

Poss, S.G. 1999. Families Scorpaenidae, Caracanthidae, Aploactinidae. pp. 2291-2358 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790. (Incorrectly recorded Cocotropus altipinnis from the Kermadec Islands)

Poss, S.G. & Allen, G.R. 1987. New Australian fishes. Part 18. A new species of Cocotropus (Aploactinidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 79-82 See ref at BHL

Poss, S.G. & Eschmeyer, W.N. 1978. Two new Australian velvetfishes, genus Paraploactis (Scorpaeniformes : Aploactinidae) with a revision of the genus and comments on the genera and species of the Aploactinidae. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 41(18): 401-426 figs 1-14 See ref at BHL

Waite, E.R. 1903. Additions to the fish-fauna of Lord Howe Island, No. 3. Records of the Australian Museum 5(1): 20-45, figs 1-2, pls. 3-5. https://doi.org/0.3853/j.0067-1975.5.1903.1027 

Whitley, G.P. 1933. Studies in Ichthyology No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 19(1): 60-112 figs 1-4 pls 11-15 https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.19.1933.691 (as Insopiscis altipinnis)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37290021

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:1-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:4+ cm

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