The Fleshfish, Dermatopsis macrodon, is a cusk eel of the genus Dermatopsis, found in southern Australia and around New Zealand at shallow depths, in rock pools and reef areas of broken rock. Their length is between 2.76 and 3.94 in (7 and 10 cm).
The Fleshfish is a small cod-like fish with long dorsal and anal fins and a small separate tail fin. Large pectoral fins contrast with single-ray pelvic fins set well forward under the gill openings. The small eyes lie towards the top of the head and the mouth is large and bears prominent teeth.
Coloration is normally a uniform olive-brown but when disturbed or removed from the water this changes to a dull red.
The Fleshfish is very secretive, living deep within crevices or caves, or under rocks, and is very seldom seen.
Illustration by Dr Tony Ayling