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Species: Pseudupeneus maculatus, Spotted Goatfish

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white + row 3 dark blotches behind eye
mouth not reaching under eye
operculum: spine

Pseudupeneus maculatus (Bloch, 1793)

Spotted Goatfish

Body elongate, cylindrical; underside of head and body nearly flat; snout pointed, straight, 45 degree angle; eye high on side of head; mouth small, at lower edge of head, protrusible, top jaw not reaching to under front of eye; relatively small villiform or conical teeth; no teeth on roof of mouth; chin with a pair of large, long barbells that fold into a central groove on throat; opercle with a short spine; 2 well-separated dorsal fins, VIII (first spine very short), + I, 8; pectoral rays 13-15; a forked tail; scales large, slightly rough, 27-31 on lateral line; 3 rows of scales between 2 dorsal fins.

Body whitish to pink; edges of scales reddish to yellow-brown, 3 large reddish black spots on body below dorsal fins, several blue lines from mouth to behind eye; lines of blue spots on body scales; fins whitish.

Size: 30 cm.

Habitat: Adults around shallow coral reef areas, young frequent seagrass beds.

Depth: 1-110 m.

New Jersey to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sessile worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 110