black spot

Black-spot goatfish

The black-spot goatfish, Parupeneus signatus, is a goatfish of the family Mullidae, found in the western Pacific ocean, from north east New Zealand to New Guinea, in shallow waters. Its length is between 20 and 50 cm.

The black-spot goatfish has the twin chin barbels typical of goatfishes, an elongate body with a high triangular first dorsal fin, and virtually identical square second dorsal and anal fins.

The body colour varies from almost white to a dull red with an overlying pattern of 4 broad longitudinal yellow-brown stripes starting from the snout and running to the caudal peduncle where they fuse around a large black spot on each side of the upper caudal peduncle.

Black-spot goatfish spend most of their time moving slowly over the bottom searching for prey with their barbels. Their diet includes worms, small crustaceans, and small fish. They are often clients of cleaner fish or cleaner shrimps.


  • Tony Ayling & Geoffrey Cox, Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand, (William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1982) ISBN 0-00-216987-8
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