Sidespot Goatfish, Parupeneus pleurostigma (Bennett 1831)

Other Names: Blackspot Goatfish, Blackspotted Goatfish, Round-spot Goatfish, Whitespot Goatfish

A Sidespot Goatfish, Parupeneus pleurostigma, at North Solitary Island, New South Wales, February 2017. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale silvery-grey to pinkish or reddish-pink goatfish, usually with a large round black blotch on the midside followed by a whitish area, and a black patch on the base of the second dorsal fin.
Video of Sidespot Goatfish feeding on a eel.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Parupeneus pleurostigma in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Sidespot Goatfish, Parupeneus pleurostigma (Bennett 1831)

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos Islands to the Murion Islands and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Jervis Bay, New South Wales; also Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-west-central Pacific, from East Africa, north to the Japan, south to Australia and east to the Tuamoto Islands. 
Inhabits sandy, rubble, coral or rocky areas of seagrass beds, shallow lagoons and seaward reefs, at depths to 70 m.


Dorsal fin VIII, 9; Anal fin I, 7; Pectoral fin 15-17 (usually 16); Gill rakers 6-8 + 21-25 (total 28-32); Vertebrae 24. 
Body depth 3.45-3.95 in SL; head length (HL) 2.85-3.1 in SL; dorsal profile of snout straight to slightly convex, snout length 1.7-2.05 in HL; barbel length 1.3-1.55 in HL; longest dorsal spine 1.4-1.7 in HL; last dorsal soft ray of adults longer than penultimate ray, the latter contained 1.1-1.25 in length of the former; posterior margin of caudal-fin lobes straight to slightly convex; pectoral-fin length 1.3-1.5 in HL; pelvic-fin length 1.25-1.45 in HL. 


Body pale pinkish to yellowish-grey, with narrow dark scale edges, a black spot about 3-4 scales in width on lateral line below rear of first dorsal fin, followed by a large pale pink to white spot; a blue spot often present on each scale above lateral line, always present posteriorly; pale blue spots, one per scale, ventrally on body, but often not visible; short blue lines radiating from eye except ventrally; barbels pale pink to white; basal third of second dorsal fin with a broad black or blackish band or a large black spot, sometimes extending onto adjacent back, the outer part of fin with narrow blue and yellow bands; anal fin with faint pale blue and yellow bands; remaining fins varying from yellowish-grey to pale red.


Carnivore - feeds on a range of benthic invertebrates, including crabs, shrimps, polychaete worms, heart urchins, brittle stars, and molluscs; also preys on small fishes.


The specific name pleurostogma is from the Greek pleuron (= side, rib) and stigma (= mark, spot) in reference to the black spot on body below the first dorsal fin.

Species Citation

Upeneus pleurostigma Bennett 1831, Proc Committee Sci. Corresp. Zool. Soc. London 1: 59. Type locality: Mauritius.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Sidespot Goatfish, Parupeneus pleurostigma (Bennett 1831)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37355027

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-70 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy/shelly/rubble areas

Max Size:33 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map