Animal Species:Blacksaddle Goatfish, Parupeneus spilurus (Bleeker, 1854)

Blacksaddle Goatfish are commonly seen by divers in shallow water of coastal New South Wales.

Common Cleanerfish cleaning the gills of a Blacksaddle Goatfish

Ian Shaw © Ian Shaw

Standard Common Name

Blacksaddle Goatfish

Alternative Name/s

Black-spot Goatfish

Identification

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).

Size range

47 cm

Distribution

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.

Parupeneus spilurus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Blacksaddle Goatfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

Blacksaddle Goatfish live in coastal reefs and estuaries.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The species is usually seen as single individuals or in small schools.

Classification

Species:
spilurus
Genus:
Parupeneus
Family:
Mullidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Mullidae, Blacksaddle Goatfish, Parupeneus spilurus, two dark stripes, large black spot, Parupeneus signatus, antitropical distribution, 30 cm - 1 m,