Bicolour Goatfish, Parupeneus barberinoides (Bleeker 1852)

Other Names: Half-and-half Goatfish, Swarthy-headed Goatfish

A Bicolour Goatfish, Parupeneus barberinoides, in Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales. Source: Dave Harasti / License: All rights reserved

A dark blackish-red goatfish with two whitish stripes from the front of the head running above and below the eye, a white bar at midbody, rear of body yellow surrounding a black spot, and a yellow tail. Juveniles swim in mixed schools with other goatfishes and wrasses.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Parupeneus barberinoides in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 May 2024,

Bicolour Goatfish, Parupeneus barberinoides (Bleeker 1852)

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos Islands, to the Dampier Archipelago and offshore reefs of Western Australia, also Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to at least Bass Point, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, west-central Pacific: western Indonesia and the Philippines to western Samoa, north to the Ryukyu Islands, southern Japan, south to New Caledonia and Tonga, and including islands in Micronesia.

Inhabits mixed sand, rubble and macroalgae areas near reefs in protected bays, lagoons and deeper outer-reefs. Juveniles are often seen in small mixed schools, while adults are usually solitary.


Dorsal fine soft rays 9; Anal fin I, 7; Pectoral fin 15-16; Gill rakers 6-8 + 20-25 (total 28-32). 
Body moderately elongate, depth 3.2-3.5 in SL; head length 2.75-3.15 in SL; snout length 1.8-2.0 in HL; barbel length 1.3-1.5 in HL.


Head and anterior half of body dark reddish-black, posterior half white and yellow with an eye-sized black spot on the upper side below the rear base of second dorsal fin, followed by small blue spots; a white stripe running through the top of the eye and along the back, and a second from the corner of the mouth to above the pectoral fin; caudal fin pale yellow with a broad, dusky lower margin, and often with a small red spot at midbase; barbels red.


Carnivore - feeds on a range of benthic invertebrates including polychaete worms, crustaceans, brittle stars, small molluscs and heart urchins.

Species Citation

Upeneus barberinoides Bleeker 1852, Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indiƫ 3: 263. Type locality: Wahai, Ceram, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Bicolour Goatfish, Parupeneus barberinoides (Bleeker 1852)


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 21 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Bleeker, P. 1852. Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van de Moluksche eilanden. Visschen van Amboina en Ceram. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch IndiĆ« 3: 229-309 

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F. (ed.) The Marine Fauna and Flora of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270 

Hutchins, J.B. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Australia : Zoonetics pp. 304-622.

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Thompson, A.A. 2003. Marine surveys undertaken in the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, March-April 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science 59 pp. 

Randall, J.E. 2001. Mullidae. pp. 3175-3200 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp. 

Randall, J.E. 2004. Revision of the goatfish genus Parupeneus (Perciformes: Mullidae), with descriptions of two new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 36: 1-64 pls 1-16 

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Williams, I. 2016. Parupeneus barberinoides (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69181934A115458740. Downloaded on 10 April 2018.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37355021

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-40+ m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated, mixed sand/rubble/macroalgae areas

Max Size:30 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map