Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Mulliformes
(Goatfishes) > Mullidae
Etymology: Parupeneus: Latin, parum, parvum = small + Peneus, the name of a river. More on author: Lacepède.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 100 m (Ref. 90102), usually - m (Ref. ). Tropical; 0°C - ; 34°N - 34°S, 22°E - 134°W
Indo-Pacific: Gulf of Aden and Oman, south on the east coast of Africa to Mossel Bay, South Africa, east to the islands of Micronesia, Line Islands, Marquesas Islands, and Tuamotu Archipelago; and from southern Japan to Australia and New Caledonia.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573)
soft rays: 7. This species is distinguished by the following characters: pectoral rays 16-18 (usually 17); gill rakers 6-7 + 20-25 = 26-31; body moderately elongate, depth 3.3-3.7 in SL; head length (HL) 2.6-3.0 in SL; snout length 1.45-2.1 in HL (relatively longer with growth); barbel length 1.4-1.6 in HL; longest dorsal spine 1.15-1.75 in HL (longer with growth); penultimate dorsal soft ray about equal to last ray in young, 1.2 in last ray in large adults; pectoral fins 1.5-1.75 in HL; pelvic fins 1.35-1.6 in HL. Colour of body whitish with a dark brown to black stripe (red on fish in deeper water) from upper lip through eye to below posterior part of second dorsal fin or anteriorly on upper caudal peduncle; body above stripe yellow or yellowish gray; body below whitish, scale edges narrowly gray to brownish red; a black or red spot larger than eye at the midbase of caudal fin; some large adults with centers of scales below dark stripe pale blue, the edges yellow or with yellow spots, especially posteriorly; peritoneum dark brown (Ref. 54393).
One of the most abundant species of Parupeneus (Ref. 37816). Inhabits large sand patches as well as sand and rubble areas of reef flats, and lagoon and seaward reefs to a depth of about 100 m. Forages on sand-dwelling invertebrates like polychaete worms and crustaceans. Feeding is diurnal; from 19 adult specimens for food-habit study, the prey in order by volume in the stomachs: crabs (portunid, anomuran, xanthid, and raninid), worms (mainly polychaetes but also sipunculids and unidentified), small bivalve molluscs, brachiopods, shrimps, small gastropods, isopods, amphipods, foraminifera, and a small unidentified eel (Ref. 54393). Individuals from Palau and eastern Carolines often have a yellow band immediately above the broad black band extending behind the eye (Ref. 37816). Adults solitary or in small groups. Juveniles usually in small groups, often mixed with other species in sparse seagrass habitats (Ref. 48636).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Mature individuals migrate shoreward to spawn and feed (Ref. 7002).
Randall, J.E., 2004. Revision of the goatfish genus Parupeneus (Perciformes: Mullidae), with descriptions of two new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (36):64 p. (Ref. 54393)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.6 - 29, mean 27.9 °C (based on 1480 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01175 (0.00933 - 0.01479), b=3.09 (3.05 - 3.13), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.38 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 5.3 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.21-0.22).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 24.3 [12.1, 50.3] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.265 [0.146, 0.547] mg/100g ; Protein = 18.3 [15.1, 21.1] % ; Omega3 = 0.112 [0.064, 0.201] g/100g ; Selenium = 66.9 [32.0, 146.7] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 217 [34, 869] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.493 [0.298, 1.049] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.