Goldstripe Goatfish, Mulloidichthys vanicolensis (Valenciennes 1831)

Other Names: Banded Goatfish, Golden Banded Goatfish, Goldenstripe goatfish, Gold-striped Goat-fish, Yellowfin Goatfish, Yellowstripe Goatfish, Yellow-stripe Goatfish

Goldstripe Goatfish, Mulloidichthys vanicolensis, at North Solitary Island, New South Wales. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A yellow to yellowish-orange, pinkish goatfish becoming whitish below, with a yellow stripe from the eye to the tail base, a short yellow bar on the cheek, yellow scale margins on the back, and yellow fins. The  Goldstripe Goatfish has no dark blotch below the middle of the first dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Mulloidichthys vanicolensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024,

Goldstripe Goatfish, Mulloidichthys vanicolensis (Valenciennes 1831)

More Info


Ningaloo Reef and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, around the tropical north to central New South Wales (Port Hacking) including reefs in the Coral Sea; 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 the Red Sea to Hawaii, and French Polynesia, north to southern Japan and south to Lord Howe Island.

Inhabits sandy areas on coastal and offshore reefs - including reef flats, lagoons and occasionally seagrass beds. The Goldstripe Goatfish often forms large schools during the day, dispersing at night to feed over sand flats.


Dorsal fin VIII + 9; Anal fin I, 7. 
Body depth 3.4-4.5 in SL; head length 2.9-3.4 in SL, snout length 2.2.-2.6 in HL, barbel length 1.2-1.5 in HL. 


Feeds on a range of benthic invertebrates including polychaete worms, crustaceans, ophiurids, small molluscs, heart urchins, and foraminiferans.

Similar Species

The similar Yellowstripe Goatfish, Mulloidichthys flavolineatus, usually has a dark blotch on the mid-lateral stripe below the middle of the first dorsal fin (although the blotch is not always present).


The species is named for the type locality, Vanicolo Island (= Vanikoro Island, Santa Cruz islands, Solomon Islands). 

Species Citation

Upeneus vanicolensis Valenciennes, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1831, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 7: 521. Type locality: Vanicolo Island, Santa Cruz Island (= Vanikoro Island, Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands).


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Goldstripe Goatfish, Mulloidichthys vanicolensis (Valenciennes 1831)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37355020

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-113 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:38 cm TL

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