The Australian Goatfish occurs in Australia and New Caledonia in shallow inshore waters often on sandy substrates. The holotype (AMS I.34384-012) and several of the paratypes (AMS I.24350-001, AMS I.34384-004, AMS I.34396-001, AMS I.34398-062) are lodged in the Australian Museum Fish Collection.
The Australian Goatfish has five and six oblique black bars on the upper and lower caudal fin lobes respectively and seven first dorsal fin spines. Dorsally It is light brownish with white reticulations. The lower sides are white. There is a yellowish-brown stripe along the sides of the body.
It is a benthic species that occurs in shallow (<15 m) inshore waters often on sandy substrates.
The species occurs in Australia and New Caledonia. In Australia, it is currently known from few locations off north-western Western Australia, Queensland and the Sydney-Wollongong region of New South Wales.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
- 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.
- Kim B.-J. & K. Nakaya, K. 2002. Upeneus australiae, a new goatfish (Mullidae: Perciformes) from Australia. Ichthyological. Research. 49: 128-132.
- Randall, J.E & M. Kulbicki. 2006. A Review of the Goatfishes of the Genus Upeneus (Perciformes: Mullidae) from New Caledonia and the Chesterfield Bank, with a New Species and Four New Records. Zoological Studies. 45(3): 298-307.