Animal Species:Blacksaddle Goatfish, Parupeneus spilurus (Bleeker, 1854)
Blacksaddle Goatfish are commonly seen by divers in shallow water of coastal New South Wales.
The Blacksaddle Goatfish can be recognised by its colouration and pattern. It has two dark stripes along the sides of the body, and a large black spot on the upper caudal peduncle. Juveniles are more slender than adults. They have the same striped pattern but are more strongly tinged with yellow.
The species is listed in many popular fish books as Parupeneus signatus (Günther, 1867).
The species has an antitropical distribution (it is found in the temperate zones of the northern and southern hemisphere, but not in the tropics) being recorded from Japan, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Australia. In Australia, this species is recorded from the east coast, from central Queensland south to Bass Strait, and on the west coast, from central to south-western Western Australia.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
Blacksaddle Goatfish live in coastal reefs and estuaries.
Other behaviours and adaptations
The species is usually seen as single individuals or in small schools.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology