Meuschenia scaber (Forster, 1801)
Velvet leatherjacket
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Monacanthidae (Filefishes)
Max. size:  31 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; marine; depth range 20 - 200 m
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: New Zealand and Australia (southern Western Australia to New South Wales and Tasmania).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 32-38; Anal soft rays: 31-36. Scales small with numerous tiny spinules, prominent first dorsal spine above eyes (Ref. 9002).
Biology:  Inhabits rocky weedy areas from the shore to at least 60 m. Generally solitary but may aggregate in groups of 10-15 individuals in midwater. Feeds mainly on sessile and encrusting organisms, with sponges and ascidians predominating (Ref. 26966); also seen feeding mid-water on zooplankton and likes to bite diver's fingers (Ref. 9002).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 17 July 2017 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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