Goatfishes


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Goatfishes are members of the Mullidae family. They are found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. Most of them inhabit shallow seas and are usually found on open sand or mud bottoms. The goatfishes are recognized by their 2 long barbels on their chin which contain chemosensory organs for food detection purpose.

Goatfishes are carnivorous. They feed on a wide variety of small animals, especially crustaceans, worms and small fishes.

There are 6 genera and about 80 species of Mullidae worldwide. Malaysia has 3 genera and about 23 species.


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Scientific Name: Parupeneus heptacanthus  (Lacepède, 1802)
English Name: Cinnabar Goatfish
French Name: Barbet à point rouge
Mandarin Name: 三鬚 (Sān xū)
Local Malay Name: Biji Nangka Tanda Merah
Main Diagnostic Features: A small reddish brown spot on upper side of body of adults just below seventh and eighth lateral-line scales.
Size: Maximum 38 cm total length, commonly to 28 cm.










Scientific Name: Upeneus sulphureus  Cuvier, 1829
English Name: Sulphur Goatfish, Sunrise Goatfish, Yellow Goatfish
French Name: Rouget-souris aurore
Local Malay Name: Biji Nangka Biasa
Main Diagnostic Features: Lobes of caudal fin without dark cross bands. Yellowish lower lobe base, grey on upper lobe. Body dorsally pale brown and ventrally white, silvery on sides with 2 narrow brassy yellow stripes. First dorsal fin with 2 broad dusky yellowish stripes separated by narrow white stripes, the tip broadly black. White barbels.
Size: Maximum 23 cm total length, commonly to 12 cm.