Francis' Goatfish, Upeneus francisi Randall & Guézé 1992

Other Names: Bar-Tailed Goatfish

Francis' Goatfish, Upeneus francisi, at Norfolk Island, Tasman Sea. Source: John E. Randall / FishBase. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A silvery-pink goatfish with small orange spots and curved markings following the scale rows along the back, above a narrow reddish to pale orange stripe from the snout to the tail base, irregular reddish to orange spots, blotches and wavy lines on the lower sides, a large orange blotch below the eye, and white barbels. 
The upper caudal-fin lobe has narrow oblique alternating whitish and orange bands, and the lower lobe has a distinctive broad orange stripe and a series of orange spots along the lower margin; the dorsal fins have alternating orange and whitish stripes; pelvic and pectoral fins are whitish with an orange spot on the upper pectoral-fin base.
The above colour pattern is indistinct in very pale individuals.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Upeneus francisi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jul 2024,

Francis' Goatfish, Upeneus francisi Randall & Guézé 1992

More Info


The Lord Howe Province and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in northern New Zealand, including the Kermadec Islands.
Inhabits sandy areas in lagoons and near rocky drop-offs.


The species is named in honour of Malcolm P. Francis in recognition of his work on the fishes of New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, and the Kermadec islands.

Species Citation

Upeneus francisi Randall & Guéze 1992, Cybium 16(1): 23, figs 1-3. Type locality: Duncombe Bay, Norfolk Island, 29°05'S, 167°59'E, depth 18 m.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Francis' Goatfish, Upeneus francisi Randall & Guézé 1992


Francis, M.P. 1991. Additions to the fish faunas of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 45(2): 204-220. (as Upeneus sp.)

Francis, M.P. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170.

Francis, M.P., Worthington, C.J., Saul & Clements, K.D. 1999. New and rare tropical and subtropical fishes from northern New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 33: 571-586.

Kim, B.-J. & Nakaya, K. 2002. Upeneus australiae, a new goatfish (Mullidae: Perciformes) from Australia. Ichthyological Research 49(2): 128-132.

Randall, J.E.& Guézé, P. 1992. Upeneus francisi, a new goatfish (Perciformes: Mullidae) from Norfolk Island and New Zealand. Cybium 16(1): 21-29. See ref online

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Williams, I. 2016. Upeneus francisi (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69538576A115462872. Downloaded on 22 August 2020.

Stewart, A.L. 2015. 185 Family Mullidae pp. 1289-1294 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Uiblein, F. & Heemstra, P.C. 2010. A taxonomic review of the western Indian Ocean goatfishes of the genus Upeneus (Family Mullidae), with descriptions of four new species. Smithiana, Publications in Aquatic Biodiversity, Bulletin 11: 35-71 

Uiblein, F. & Heemstra, P.C. 2011. Description of a new goatfish species, Upeneus randalli n. sp. (Mullidae), from the Persian Gulf, with remarks and identification keys for the genus Upeneus. Scientia Marina 75(3): 585-594

Uiblein, F., Gledhill, D.C. & Peristiwady, T. 2017. Two new goatfishes of the genus Upeneus (Mullidae) from Australia and Indonesia. Zootaxa 4318 (2): 295–311

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37355037

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:11 cm SL

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