Howies Scuba

 Fish Identification Perth WA

Shore Diving


Goatfishes are tropical marine perciform fish of the family Mullidae. Seldom found in brackish waters, goatfish are most associated with the reefs of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. The goatfish are sometimes called the red mullets as opposed to the Mugilidae, the grey mullets, though that name is usually reserved for the red mullets of the genus Mullus of the Mediterranean. Within the family are approximately six genera and 55 species... (Wikipedia)


Southern Goatfish

(Upeneichthys vlaminngii)

Goatfish will be seen at all the dive sites foraging in the sand. If you watch them and wait you will usually see a few fish come scavenging in after they have disturbed the seabed. Not particularly comfortable around divers, you need to take your time to get close.

Black Spot Goatfish

(Parupeneus signatus) 

I had noticed these striped fish on several dive sites, but did not realise they were in fact Goatfish as I had not observed them foraging in the sand and had not noticed any type of barbel on their chin until I saw them at Robbs Jetty where this photograph was taken.

The Bottom two photographs taken at Bird Isl. Cape Peron whilst Kayak Diving.

 Yellow Striped Goatfish
(Parupeneus chrysopleuron)

Don't worry you're not seeing double, but talk about hiding in plain sight.

When I first took this photo, I thought I was photographing a school of Southern Goatfish (top).

Then I realised that a couple of the fish had black spots, and I was happy I had actually photographed the Black Spot Goatfish (previous).

You would think that was enough however these photographs have been on this website for over 2 years and I was reading a new book and staring right in front of me was this school of Yellow Striped Goatfish......

Thing was I had loads of photos of these, always believing they were just the Southern Goatfish going through some colour changes which this fish is capable of, unbelievable.

These Goatfish where photographed at Robbs Jetty. I noticed on this dive that they were changing colour to a deep red when foraging, apparently this colour change can happen when the fish is stressed/excited/agitated also this colour change is permanent when the fish dies.

You can see here a clear pinking of the flesh/scales.

Bartail Goatfish
(Upeneus tragula)

Taken at Robbs Jetty on a night dive, sitting in 3 meters of water on a sandy patch, well outside of jetty.

Juvenile Bartailed Goatfish, photographed at Ammo & Robbs jetty


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