The crested bellowsfish is notable for its unusual body shape - round and flattened with an elongated snout and a thick, elongated first dorsal spine which points backwards. Its body is orange, often mottled with white stripes and blotches. It has large eyes, which are positioned close to the base of its snout.
It inhabits the temperate waters of the southern oceans, most notably around Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island as well as the coasts of Australia and New Zealand. At least one sighting places them in South African waters too.
It is a demersal species, living close to the seafloor at depths of up to 600m. It has not been studied enough to identify its prey, but other species of bellows fish feed on plankton and tiny bottom-dwelling crustaceans.
The specimens at the Aquarium are from the island of Tristan da Cunha, where they are regularly caught in crayfish traps.