Goatfishes (Mullidae)



Catch fish using nets, spear, hook and line, or traps. Be mindful of ciguatera toxin and check the news for a possible outbreak in the area.


Keep fish chilled in a cooler or refrigerator. Can be frozen for longer storage.


  • •Wash fish well before use.
  • •Remove the guts with a knife.

Photo Source

Florent’s Guide to the Tropical Reefs


Goatfishes are bony fishes that have an elongatebody with large scales and rough texture. They are characterized by the pair of long barbells located under the chin (Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, Guam Department of Agriculture; Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, 2006; Myers, 1999).

Dash-dot & Yellowstripe

1.  Dash-dot goatfish (Parupeneus barberinus)
Can be found over large sand patches, reef flats, and lagoon and seaward reefs.


2.  Yellowstripe goatfish (Mulloidichthys flavolineatus)
Can be found on shallow sandy flats. Has a longer snout and longer body than other goatfish. Can change the color of its lateral stripe from yellow to black.

Sidespot & Whitesaddle

3.  Sidespot goatfish (Parupeneus pleurostigma)
Can be found in sandy patches near coral. Its body is light, whitish to pink in clor with a black spot on the side, followed by a large oval white patch.


4.  Whitesaddle goatfish (Parupeneus porphyreus)
Turns color with age, from a greenish body with red fins to a brick red color. Can be found throughout reef and coral areas.

Traditional Names
  • Chamorro – satmonetiyu 1,2; satmoneti pintu 1; satmoneti 2
  • Hawaiian – weke ʻa 2; ʻoama 2
  • Kosraean – futfut 1; apihl 2
  • Marshallese – jo
  • Palauan – bang 1; dech 2
  • Pohnpeian – mwomw alis; epil 2
  • Samoan – iʻasina; tusia 1; iʻasina afolu 2; afulu 2; vete 2
  • Yapese – souwennaleo; faiul ggiye 1; souwe2