Rare Velvetfish, Matsubarichthys inusitatus Poss & Johnson 1991

A Rare Velvetfish, Matsubarichthys inusitatus, from Iluka, New South Wales. Source: Kerryn Parkinson / Australian Museum. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Matsubarichthys inusitatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Feb 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/4626

Rare Velvetfish, Matsubarichthys inusitatus Poss & Johnson 1991

More Info


One Tree Island, southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to off Sydney, New South Wales.


Dorsal fin II + IV-V, 6; Anal fin II, 3-5; Pectoral fin 15-16; Pelvic fin I, 1; Caudal fin 1+5+5+1; Lateral line (tube-like scales) 6, first 3 very close together, last extending over base of caudal fin; Gill rakers 1+4 = 5 (holotype); Vertebrae 9 precaudal + 12 caudal = 21.
Head extremely large, notably depressed; no enlarged preorbital spines; scales absent (except for lateral line scales); branchiostegal membranes connected to isthmus along entire length, opening to opercular chamber restricted to a small pore above tip of opercle; no slit behind posteriormost hemibranch; no pterygiophore inserting between neural spines of sixth and seventh vertebrae; fin-rays all unbranched.


The Latin specific epithet, inusitatus, means unusual or rare.

Species Citation

Matsubarichthys inusitatus Poss & Johnson 1991, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 104(3): 469, figs 1-2. Type locality: One Tree Island, Capricorn Group, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland [23°30´S, 152°05´E].


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Rare Velvetfish, Matsubarichthys inusitatus Poss & Johnson 1991


Leis, J.M., Hay, A.C. & Miskiewicz, A.G. 2004. Larval development of the rare Australian aploactinid fish Matsubarichthys inusitatus (Pisces: Scorpaeniformes). Zoological Studies 43(3): 580-588. PDF available Open access

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. & Johnson, G.D. 1991. Matsubarichthys inusitatus, a new genus and species of velvetfish (Scorpaeniformes: Aploactinidae) from the Great Barrier Reef. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 104(3): 468-473.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37290013

Depth:0-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated, mangroves

Max Size:8.5 mm SL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map