Wasp-spine Velvetfish, Acanthosphex leurynnis (Jordan & Seale 1905)

Other Names: Dwarf Velvetfish

A Wasp-spine Velvetfish, Acanthosphex leurynnis, at Anilao, Batangas, Calabarzon, Philippines, May 2015. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A tiny cryptic velvetfish, usually dark brown to mottled light brown, sometimes with whitish patches on the head and lower sides, often whitish pectoral and caudal fins with a brown wavy band on the outer part, and a pair of short tentacles on the chin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Acanthosphex leurynnis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Jan 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/4423

Wasp-spine Velvetfish, Acanthosphex leurynnis (Jordan & Seale 1905)

More Info


Scattered records from Whitfords Beach, Western Australia, around the tropical north to the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species occurs in scattered localities in the Indo-west Pacific - India east to Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia, north to southern China. Inhabits rubble and seagrass areas near reefs.


Dorsal fin III, IX–X, 6–8; Anal fin I–II, 6; Pectoral fin 9–10; Pelvic fin I, 2; Lateral-line tubes 9.
Body compressed; gill openings restricted to sides of head; preorbital armed with 2 very large posteriorly directed blunt spines, extending well beyond posterior margin of eye; preoperculum with 4 large spines, upper largest, spines gradually decreasing in length ventrally.

Species Citation

Prosopodasys leurynnis Jordan & Seale, 1905, Proc. U. S. Natl Mus. 29(1433): 525, fig. 5. Type locality: Hong Kong. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Wasp-spine Velvetfish, Acanthosphex leurynnis (Jordan & Seale 1905)


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Fowler, H.W. 1938. Descriptions of new fishes obtained by the United States Bureau of Fisheries Steamer Albatross, chiefly in Philippine seas and adjacent waters. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 85(3032): 31-135 figs 6-61. (changed genus to Acanthosphex)

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. DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.56.2004.1421

Jordan, D.S. & Seale, A. 1905. List of fishes collected in 1882-83 by Pierre Louis Jouy at Shanghai and Hongkong, China. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 29(1433): 517-529. See ref at BHL

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293.

Motomura, H., Matsuura, K. & Khan, M. 2018. Acanthosphex leurynnis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T114155281A114155332. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T114155281A114155332.en. Downloaded on 19 August 2020.

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.

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.

Russell, B.C. & Houston, W. 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 6(1): 69-84. (as Xenoaploactis sp.)

Vidthayanon, C. & Bettencourt, S. 1988. First record of Acanthosphex leurynnis (Jordan & Seale 1906), a rare velvetfish (Scorpaeniformes: Aploactinidae) in the Gulf of Thailand. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 36: 109-116.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37290017

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-60 m

Habitat:Reef associated, rubble areas

Max Size:3+ cm TL

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CAAB distribution map