Bluestriped Goatfish, Upeneichthys lineatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

Other Names: Blue-lined Goatfish, Blue-spotted Goat-fish, Blue-striped Goatfish, Blue-striped Red Mullet, Red Mullet

A Bluestriped Goatfish, Upeneichthys lineatus, at Shiprock, Port Hacking, New South Wales, April 2017. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Bluestriped Goatfish vary greatly in colour from almost white to a deep red, with an orange to reddish-brown stripe and lines of blue dots along the sides, and often other blotches and markings.

Goatfish use their sensory chin barbels to probe the sediment on search of prey.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Upeneichthys lineatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024,

Bluestriped Goatfish, Upeneichthys lineatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

More Info


Endemic to temperate marine waters of eastern and southeastern Australia, from about Fraser Island, southern Queensland to about Lakes Entrance, eastern Victoria. Bluestriped Goatfish inhabit sandy bottoms in sheltered bays and harbours, probing the sediment for prey with their sensory barbels. They often forage over the bottom in small schools, are have been collected from 5-200 m.


To 31 cm.


Colour highly variable, ranging from pale cream to a deep red, usually with blue and gold lines on the face, fine yellow lines and blue spots along the sides of the body and tail, a distinct midlateral stripe, and yellow stripes on the dorsal and anal fins.


Goatfishes feed by probing the sediment with their long sensory barbels. They have fine teeth and lack crushing molars, and feed on small molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms and fishes, as well as on larger soft-bodied prey such as polychaete worms.


Sexes are separate and fertilisation is external. Spawning takes place above the bottom, and the eggs and larvae are pelagic.


Bluestriped Goatfish are are highly valued as a food fish. They are taken as incidental bycatch in prawn and fish trawls, and in ocean trap and line fisheries. In New South Wales, Bluestriped Goatfish make up most of the goatfish catch.


Not evaluated.

Similar Species

Very similar to and often confused with the Bluespotted Goatfish, Upeneichthys vlamingii, which has a slightly longer head and the midlateral stripe is not as distinct. 

Species Citation

Mullus surmuletus lineatus Bloch & Schneider 1801, Systema Ichthyologiae: 78, fig. 18, whereabouts unknown (as a new variety; illustrated in fig. 18 under the name Mullus latamii; figure probably based on a drawing by John Latham according to Hutchins, J.B. 1990.)


Dianne J. Bray


Atlas of Living Australia

Bluestriped Goatfish, Upeneichthys lineatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


Ben-Tuvia, A. 1986. Taxonomic status of Upeneichthys lineatus (Bloch) in Australian and New Zealand waters. pp. 590-594 figs 1-2 In Uyeno, T., Arai, R., Taniuchi, T. & Matsuura, K. (eds). Indo-Pacific Fish Biology. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Indo-Pacific Fishes. Tokyo : Ichthyological Society of Japan 985 pp.

Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin 584 pp. 110 pls.

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

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Mullidae. In Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter. (Eds.) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. New Holland Publishers. Melbourne, Australia. 1-928. 

Hoese, D.F. & D.J. Bray. 2006. Family Mullidae, pp. 1264-1274. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing. Part 1. 

Hutchins, J.B. 1990. Description of a new species of mullid fish from south-western Australia, with comments on Upeneichthys lineatus. Records of the Western Australian Museum 14(4): 483-493 figs 1-4.

Hutchins, J.B. & R. Swainston. 1987. The sea fishes of southern Australia. Swainston Publishing. 180 p.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal fishes of south-eastern Australia. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. i-xxxi + 1-437.

Kuiter, R.H. 1997. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. New Holland Publishers, Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia. I-xvii + 1-434.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen.

May, J.L. & J.G.H. Maxwell. 1986. Trawl fish from temperate waters of Australia. CSIRO Division of Fisheries Research, Tasmania. 492 p.

Randall, J.E. 2001. Family Mullidae. In Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. Species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the western central Pacific. Bony fishes part 3 (Menidae to Pomacentridae). FAO, Rome. 5: iii-iv; 2791-3379, I-XXVII.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37355001

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:to 200 m

Habitat:Sandy & shelly areas

Max Size:40 cm TL


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