Goatee Velvetfish, Pseudopataecus carnatobarbatus Johnson 2012

A Goatee Velvetfish, Pseudopataecus carnatobarbatus, on Montgomery Reef, off The Kimberley, north Western Australia, October 2009. Source: Sue Morrison / Western Australian Museum. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A mottled greenish to brownish, pink, red or orange velvetfish often covered in thick mucous, with irregular short whitish lines radiating from the eye, a goatee-like beard of fleshy cirri around the lower chin, and fins with a pale margin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Pseudopataecus carnatobarbatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Dec 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4777

Goatee Velvetfish, Pseudopataecus carnatobarbatus Johnson 2012

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Endemic to north Western Australia, from Exmouth Gulf to Adele Island off The Kimberley.The Goatee Velvetfish experiences extremely an extreme tidal range, with up to 11 m differences between high and low tides, especially during spring tides. Inhabits broad shallow rocky tide pools with dead coral heads, overhangs and crevices, with shell and coral rubble; often shelters among thick stands of brown macroalgae, especially Padina and Sargassum species, at depths to 13 m. 


Dorsal fin XIII-XIV, 13i-14i; Anal fin I, 9i-11i; Pectoral fin 11-12; Pelvic fin I, 3; Gill rakers 0-4 + 5-8 (=6-11 total); Lateral-line tubes 13-17; Vertebrae, including urostyle 31-32. 

Dorsal-, anal-, pectoral-, first two pelvic- and most caudal-fin rays branched near their tips, except in juveniles; last soft dorsal-fin ray joined for most of its length by a membrane to the proximal third of upper caudal-fin ray; spinous dorsal fin strongly notched between 3rd and 8th spines; pelvic fins relatively robust, with third or innermost ray subequal in length to second ray; smooth anterior face of lower lip, a single row of small unbranched cirri along its upper margin; forehead with a narrow quadrangular pit, bounded by frontal, supraorbital, ocular and preocular ridges.


9.7 cm SL


Widely variable in colour, and a master of camouflage.

Similar Species

Pseudopataecus carnatobarbatus differs from Pseudopataecus taenianotus in having branched (versus simple) tips on most fin rays, the last soft dorsal-fin ray joined by a membrane more fully to the upper caudal-fin ray, the spinous dorsal fin being more distinctly notched, more robust pelvic fins, the anterior face of the lower lip smooth (vs. profusely covered with cirri), and a narrow quadrangular pit on the forehead, bounded by frontal, supraorbital, ocular and preocular ridges (vs. pit and preocular ridge absent). P. carnatobarbatus also has modally fewer anal-fin rays and modally greater numbers of gill rakers (Johnson 2012).


The specific name carnatobarbatus is from the Latin carnatio (= fleshy) and barbatus (= bearded), in reference to the goatee-like beard of fleshy cirri around the lower chin of the Goatee Velvetfish.

Species Citation

Pseudopataecus carnatobarbatus Johnson, 2012, Zootaxa 3245: 55, Figs. 1A-C, 2A-B. Type locality: Adele Island, reef platform at head of Fraser channel, 15°29.474'S, 123°09.798'E, Kimberley coast, Western Australia, depth 0-1 m.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Goatee Velvetfish, Pseudopataecus carnatobarbatus Johnson 2012


Johnson, J.W. 2012. Pseudopataecus carnatobarbatus, a new species of velvetfish (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes: Aploactinidae) from the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Zootaxa 3245: 54–62. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3245.1.3

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37290023

Depth:0-13 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm SL


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