Can you identify this crested weedfish?

The strange fish.
The strange fish. Photo credit: Henry Brennan via NIWA / Facebook

If you think you're a fish expert, can you identify this fish?

The strange orange specimen was discovered in south Taranaki last week by Henry Brennan, who came across it while he was checking craypots.

A photo of the fish was shared to Facebook by NIWA - along with more information about its identity.

"Te Papa's fish expert Andrew Stewart has identified it as a crested weedfish (Cristicept aurantiacus)," the post reads.

"Andrew says this is the first time the species has been recorded on the west coast of New Zealand."

The crested weedfish normally lives in areas of seaweed and feeds on small crustaceans and larval fish.

"It's found across the bottom of Australia (southwest to southeast) up the east coast to Queensland; across to Lord Howe Island and New Zealand," NIWA says.

"They can grow up to 200mm long, are found in stands of kelp from low water to depths of about 55 metres and vary in colour, camouflaging with their surroundings."

And they're very well-camouflaged indeed. Last year the Wellington Underwater Club snapped a photo of a crested weedfish hiding amongst the kelp - look at how well it blends in.