Longbarbel Goatfish, Parupeneus macronemus (Lacépède 1801)

Other Names: Long-barbel Goatfish

A Longbarbel Goatfish, Parupeneus macronemus, in the Gulf of Oman, at Fahl Island, Oman. Source: Richard Field / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

A greyish to pinkish or reddish goatfish with long sensory chin barbels, a broad black stripe through the eye running along the lateral line to below the soft dorsal fin, and a black spot on the caudal peduncle preceded by a broad white area.
In the Australian EEZ, the Longbarbel Goatfish occurs at Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2016, Parupeneus macronemus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jan 2020,

Longbarbel Goatfish, Parupeneus macronemus (Lacépède 1801)

More Info


Recorded in the Australian EEZ from the territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical Indo-West Pacific.


Dorsal fin VIII + 9; Anal fin I, 7; Pectoral fin 15-17 (usually 16); Gill rakers 7-9 + 27-30 (total 34-39). 
Body moderately elongate, the depth 3.3-3.7 in SL; head length (HL) 2.8-3.2 in SL; snout length 1.7-1.9 in HL; barbels long, their length 1.1-1.25 in HL; longest dorsal spine 1.45-1.75in HL; penultimate ray of second dorsal fin of adults 1.25-1.6 in last dorsal ray, the last ray relatively longer with growth; pectoral fins 1.3-1.5 in HL; pelvic fins 1.2-1.45 in HL.


Body grey to greyish-red above, whitish to pink below, with a black stripe from eye along lateral line to anterior part of caudal peduncle; a roundish black spot larger than eye on side of peduncle about two-thirds above lateral line; a broad white area from in front of the peduncular spot to below the rear of the second dorsal fin; scales below black stripe often with a pale blue vertical line or spot; a dusky band often present on snout from eye to side of upper lip; barbels white; first dorsal and caudal fins reddish-grey; basal one-third to one-half of second dorsal fin black, the dark pigment continuing to end of last ray and adjacent membrane; outer part of fin with narrow pale blue and yellow stripes; anal fin dusky yellow with faint narrow pale blue stripes.


Fished commercially in parts of its range; also traded in the aquarium industry.

Similar Species

Differs from the similar Parupeneus barberinus in having the pale area at the end of the black stripe and a dusky basal stripe in the second dorsal fin.

Species Citation

Mullus macronemus Lacepède, 1801, Hist. Nat. Poiss 3: 404, pl. 13 (fig. 2). No type locality specified.


Bray, D.J. 2016

Longbarbel Goatfish, Parupeneus macronemus (Lacépède 1801)


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 Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.
Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island.Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.
Bleeker, P. 1875. Révision des espèces insulindiennes de la famille des Mulloïdes. Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen 15: 1-40.

Lacepède, B.G. 1801. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : chez Plassan Vol. 3 558 pp. 34 pls.

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37355035

Depth:3-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy & weedy areas

Max Size:40 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map