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Cocotropus roseus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Aploactinidae
McCulloch, 1922

Little velvetfishes or simply velvetfishes are a family, the Aploactinidae, of scorpaeniform fishes.

As the name implies, they are small fish that have skin with a velvet texture. They are generally flattened in shape, with small pelvic fins, and a fleshy pad under the head, which, in at least one species, forms a sucker for attaching the fish to the sea floor. Some also have venomous spines. They live on the sea bottom close to the shore, at depths of up to 100 metres (330 ft).[2]


There are about forty known species of velvetfish, although, since they are rarely seen, it is likely that there are many more remaining to be discovered.[2] The species are grouped into 17 genera:


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). "Aploactinidae" in FishBase. December 2012 version.
  2. ^ a b Eschmeyer, William N. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 176. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.