Two-tone Goatfish, Upeneus guttatus (Day 1868)

A Two-tone Goatfish, Upeneus guttatus, from SE of Cairns, Queensland, CSIRO H 7212-02, 121 mm SL. Source: Dan Gledhill / Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: All rights reserved

A reddish goatfish with red patches or blotches on upper sides sometimes extending below the lateral line, no lateral body stripes, a white belly, 5 reddish bars on upper caudal-fin lobe, 5-8 faint, irregular red bars on outer margin of lower caudal-fin lobe, and a pale yellow tip on first dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Upeneus guttatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jul 2024,

Two-tone Goatfish, Upeneus guttatus (Day 1868)

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NNW of Muiron Islands, Western Australia, to SE of Cairns, Queensland. Found elsewhere in the Indo-west Pacific from the Red Sea to South Africa, and across the Indian Ocean to NE Australia.


Dorsal fin VII, 9; Pectoral fin 13-14, usually 13; Gill rakers 6-8 + 16-18 = 23-25; Lateral line scales 28-31.
Body depth at first dorsal fin origin 22-25% SL and at anus 19-23% SL; caudal-peduncle depth 9.3-11% SL; maximum head depth 18-22% SL; head depth through eye 15-19% SL; head length 26-30%SL; orbit length 6.3-8.8% SL; upper jaw length 9.6-12% SL; barbel length 16-19% SL; caudal-fin length 25-30% SL; anal-fin height 15-19% SL; pelvic-fin length 19-23% SL; pectoral-fin length 20-22% SL; first dorsal-fin height 20-24% SL; second dorsal-fin height 14-18% SL; 10-13 total bars on caudal fin,


Previously recorded in Australia as Upeneus sp. [in Sainsbury et al, 1985], and Upeneus sp. 1 [in Gloerfelt-Tarp & Kailola, 1984]


Dianne J. Bray

Two-tone Goatfish, Upeneus guttatus (Day 1868)


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. (as Upeneus sp. 1)

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia.Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (as Upeneus sp.)

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

Kulbicki, M., Y.-M. Bozec, P. Labrosse, Y. Letourneur, G. Mou-Tham & L. Wantiez. 2005. Diet composition of carnivorous fishes from coral reef lagoons of New Caledonia. Aquatic Living Resources 18: 231-250.

Randall, J.E. & M. Kulbicki. 2006. A review of the goatfishes of the genus Upeneus (Perciformes: Mullidae) from New Caledonia and the Chesterfield Bank, with a new species and four new records. Zoological Studies 45(3):298-307.

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37355008

Depth:8-80 m

Habitat:Soft bottoms

Max Size:16 cm SL

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