Animal Species:Bluespotted Goatfish, Upeneichthys vlamingii (Cuvier, 1829)

The Bluespotted Goatfish is a shallow water species that is endemic to southern Australia.

Standard Common Name

Bluespotted Goatfish

Alternative Name/s

Black-striped Goatfish, Blue-striped Red Mullet, Red Mullet, Southern Goatfish, Southern Red Mullet, Western Red Mullet


The Bluespotted Goatfish has small eyes and a small mouth with fleshy lips. There are two dorsal fins. The first spinous dorsal fin is taller with a shorter base than the second soft-rayed fin. The chin barbels are about the same length as the head.

The colouration of this species varies with age, sex, time of day, and the fish's level of stimulation. Young fish and females are pale below and darker above. They have a black stripe along the side of their bodies. Adult males and females have blue spots on their body scales. At night and when excited, their bodies often become reddish.

Size range

The species grows to 42 cm in length.

Similar Species

The Bluespotted Goatfish looks similar to the BluestripedGoatfish (see related items link). The two species can be distinguished by theBluespotted Goatfish's darker body stripe (in life) and slightly longer head.


The Bluespotted Goatfish occurs in temperate marine waters of southern Australia from southern New South Wales to southern Western Australia, including Tasmania.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Upeneichthys vlamingii

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Bluespotted Goatfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


It is found near shallow reefs and sandy areas in coastal waters and estuaries to depths of about 40 m.

Other behaviours and adaptations

It is commonly seen as a single individual or in schools.



What does this mean?


  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Mullidae, Bluespotted Goatfish, Upeneichthys vlamingii, Blue-striped Red Mullet, Southern Red Mullet, Western Red Mullet, small mouth with fleshy lips, 30 cm - 1 m, temperate marine waters of southern Australia, spots, dots, red, line, stripe,