Blacksaddle Goatfish, Parupeneus spilurus (Bleeker 1854)

Other Names: Black-saddled Goatfish, Blackspot Goatfish, Black-spot Goatfish, Black-spot Goat-fish, Black-spotted Goatfish, Goat Fish, Red Goatfish

A Blacksaddle Goatfish, Parupeneus spilurus, at Bass Point, Shellharbour, New South Wales, January 2017. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

An easily recognised brownish to reddish ro yellowish goatfish becoming pinkish-grey below, with a black saddle on the tail base preceded by a yellowish to whitish patch, and three white stripes from the snout along the body. Juveniles have a similar colour pattern with a yellowish tinge.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Parupeneus spilurus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Apr 2020,

Blacksaddle Goatfish, Parupeneus spilurus (Bleeker 1854)

More Info


Geographe Bay to Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia, and the Swains Reefs, Queensland, to Mallacoota, Victoria; also the Lord Howe Island region and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical Western Pacific. Juveniles usually occur in small schools, while adults are solitary or are seen in small aggregations.

Species Citation

Upeneus spilurus Bleeker1854, Natuurk. Tijdschr. Nederl. Indië 6: 395. Type locality: Nagasaki, Japan.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Blacksaddle Goatfish, Parupeneus spilurus (Bleeker 1854)


Allan, R. 2002. Australian Fish and How to Catch Them. Sydney : New Holland Publishers (Australia) 394 pp. (p. 159, as Parupeneus signatus)

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Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 (p. 404, as Parupeneus signatus)

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. ( p. 90, Parupeneus signatus)

Bleeker, P. 1854. Faunae ichthyologicae japonicae species novae. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 6: 395-426.

Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp. (p. 168, Parupeneus fraterculus)

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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.

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Günther, A. 1867. Additions to the knowledge of Australian reptiles and fishes. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 3 20(8): 45-68 (p. 59, as Upeneus signatus)

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Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F. (ed.) The Marine Fauna and Flora of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270.

Hutchins, J.B. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

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Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. (P. 204, as Parupeneus signatus and Parupenus spilurus)

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. (P. 204, as Parupeneus signatus and Parupenus spilurus)

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Zoonetics, Australia, pp 304-622.
Ogilby, J.D. 1908. On new genera and species of fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 21: 1-26 (p. 19, as Pseudupeneus jeffi)

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.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (p. 234, as Parupeneus pleurotaenia)

Whitley, G.P. 1931. New names for Australian fishes. The Australian Zoologist 6(4): 310-334 1 fig. pls 25-27 (p. 317, as Caprupeneus jeffi)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37355015

Depth:1-80 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sand/seagrass areas

Max weight:55 cm TL

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