Species Details

Details of Goldsaddle goatfish will be displayed below

Goldsaddle goatfis...   

Common Name: Gold-saddle goatfish
Scientific Name: Parupeneus cyclostomus
Local Name: Ran'kalhuoh
Dhivehi Name: ރަންކަޅުއޮއް
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Perciformes  (Order)
Mullidae  (Family)
Parupeneus   (Genus)

Goldsaddle goatfish's description

Dorsal spines (total): 8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9; Anal spines: 1; Anal soft rays: 7. Diagnosis: Pectoral rays 16 (rarely 15 or 17). Gill rakers 6-7 + 22-26 (total 29-33). Body depth 3.25-3.8 in SL (body deeper with growth); head length (HL) 2.85-3.1 in SL; snout long, its length 1.61.8 in HL; eye small, the orbit diameter 5.3-8.95 in HL (SL 118-392 mm); barbels very long, 1.15 in HL to longer than head; longest dorsal spine 1.5-1.7 in HL; penultimate dorsal ray 1.1-1.2 in length of last dorsal ray; pectoral-fin length 1.5-1.7 in HL; pelvic-fin length 1.35-1.55 in HL. Color of large adults yellowish gray, the edges of the scales bright blue except ventrally, the edges more broadly blue posteriorly; a large, hemispherical, saddle-like, yellow spot covering most of upper half of caudal peduncle; region around eye yellow with radiating short narrow blue bands; caudal fin with longitudinal blue bands; second dorsal and anal fins with narrow oblique blue bands; a second smaller color phase entirely yellow, the dorsal peduncular spot sometimes apparent by being brighter yellow than rest of body.

Goldsaddle goatfish's facts

  • Reports of ciguatera poisoning
  • Juveniles form schools, adults usually solitary.

Goldsaddle goatfish's Behavior & Ecology

It occurs solitarily or in groups, in all areas of the coral reefs and detrital bottom area from 1 to 95 m deep. It uses its barbels to probe holes and force out prey.

Goldsaddle goatfish's Feeding

Feed primarily on small fishes, crustaceans, peanut worms, shrimps, crabs, octopi, and small gastropods during the day.

Goldsaddle goatfish's Conservation

There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for P. cyclostomus.  It occurs in marine protected areas in some parts of its range.

Goldsaddle goatfish's Relationship with Humans

Used in aquarium trade.

Goldsaddle goatfish habitat

This species is found on coral, rocky or rubble bottoms of reef flats, lagoons, and seaward reefs. This goatfish is more closely associated with coral reefs than other species.  It is unusual for a mullid in its heaving feeding on fishes (about 70% of the diet).  It has been observed to use its barbels to frighten its prey from holes in the reef.  Like other goatfishes while feeding, it is often accompanied by other fishes such as jacks and wrasses which try to capture prey animals fleeing from its intrusions in the reef or sand (Randall 1999).  Juveniles form schools, while adults are usually solitary. This species feeds primarily on small fishes, crustaceans, peanut worms, shrimps, crabs, octopi, and small gastropods during the day (National Parks Broad 2003, Mundy 2005). Adults primarily feed on fish and sometimes exhibit coordinated group hunting behaviour (Strübin et al. 2011). Maximum length recorded is 50 cm TL (Randall 2005).

Goldsaddle goatfish threats

There have been no confirmed population declines in P. cyclostomus. However, because of its affinity with coral reefs, we suspect that P. cyclostomus may be experiencing population declines due to habitat loss in parts of its range.

As of 2008, fifteen percent of the world’s coral reefs were considered under imminent threat of being “Effectively Lost” (with 90% of the corals lost and unlikely to recover soon), with regions in East Africa, South and South-east Asia, and the wider Caribbean being the most highly threatened (Wilkinson 2008). Of 704 zooxanthellate reef-building coral species which were assessed by using the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Criteria, 32.8% are in categories with elevated risk of extinction (Carpenter et al. 2008).

Goldsaddle goatfish's status