Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: MULLIDAE, Goatfishes


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

elongate, flat below
D VII-VIII + I, 8, well separated
chin pair long barbels
large scales

FAMILY MULLIDAE

GOATFISHES

In goatfishes, which are small to medium sized fishes (up to 40 cm), the body is moderately elongate, slightly compressed; underside of head and body nearly flat; eye high on side of head; mouth small, at lower edge of head, protrusible; relatively small villiform or conical teeth; chin with a pair of large, long barbells that fold into a central groove on throat; 2 well-separated dorsal fins, VII-VIII + I, 8; a forked tail; scales large, slightly rough.

Goatfishes occur in all warm temperate and tropical seas, usually in the vicinity of reefs. Worldwide there are six genera with about 55 species; most inhabit the Indo-West Pacific. Four W Atlantic species from four genera in the Greater Caribbean.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER RANDALL (2002)