Spotted goatfish

Pseudupeneus maculatus

Family Mullidae - goatfishes

Body elongate, slightly laterally compressed, head slightly concave with pointed snout; mouth slightly inferior; color variable, from red to orange to mottled red and white, scale edges reddish or yellowish with pale interiors, light blue diagonal lines on head; three (usually) dark blotches on upper body, 1 behind operculum, other 2 below dorsal fins; 2 dorsal fins; pair of long barbels on tip of lower jaw which fold into grooves on chin; mouth small, does not reach vertical of anterior eye orbit; tail forked; small spine on opercular margin.
Similar Species
Beardfishes have chin barbels also, but the barbels are located behind the tip of the lower jaw. Beardfishes also have 1 dorsal fin. Goatfishes have 2. The dark blotches on its sides help distinguish the spotted goatfish from other goatfishes.
Gulf, sandy or rocky bottoms near reefs,
Maximum Size
30 cm (12 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. VIII (1st very small)+I,8; A. II,6 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
State size/bag limits