Dash-and-dot Goatfish is found in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It’s one of the most common species in its group, called Parupeneus.
Adult Dash-and-dot Goatfish live alone or in small groups, living in sandy areas near reefs and lagoons up to around 300 feet deep.
Younger fish are often seen with other species, living in places with few seagrass plants. These fish eat animals that live in the sand, like worms and small crustaceans.
They feed during the day and have been found eating things like crabs, worms (mostly polychaetes), clams, brachiopods, shrimp, snails, isopods, amphipods, foraminifera organisms, and even a small eel.
Some Dash-and-dot Goatfish from Palau and eastern Carolines have unique markings – they have a yellow stripe above their black eye band.
These fish are safe for coral reefs, but you need to be cautious as they can harm the tank inhabitants.
Dash-and-dot Goatfish Interesting Facts
- Dash-and-dot Goatfish are commonly found in the Indian and Pacific oceans, living in sandy areas near reefs and lagoons.
- They have a varied diet that includes worms, small crustaceans, clams, shrimp, snails, and even small eels.
- Some individuals from Palau and eastern Carolines have unique yellow stripes above their black eye bands.
- Although they can be both male and female when immature, they typically function as one gender throughout their life.
Dash-and-dot Goatfish Habitat
Dash-and-dot Goatfish is found in the Indo-Pacific region. Its habitat stretches from the Gulf of Aden and Oman to South Africa’s Mossel Bay and extends eastward to Micronesia, Line Islands, Marquesas Islands, and Tuamotu Archipelago.
This fish is also found in southern Japan, Australia, and New Caledonia. Dash-and-dot Goatfish live in reef environments at depths of 1 to 100 meters (3 to 328 feet).
It thrives in tropical waters located between latitudes of 34°N to 34°S and longitudes of 22°E to 134°W.
Dash-and-dot Goatfish Physical Characteristics
Size: 13 inches (33 centimeters)
Dash-and-dot Goatfish can grow up to 23.6 inches (60 centimeters) long, but it’s usually around 13 inches (33 centimeters).
It has 8 spines on its dorsal fin and 9 soft rays, with 1 anal spine and 7 soft rays on its anal fin.
This fish stands out due to its 16 to 18 pectoral rays (often 17), a total of 26 to 31 gill rakers, and a moderately elongated body, being about 3.3 to 3.7 times longer than it is deep.
Dash-and-dot Goatfish’s head length is about 2.6 to 3 times shorter than its body length, and the snout length increases as the fish grows.
The barbel length is about half the head length. As for colors, this fish has a white body with a dark stripe running from its mouth through its eye and ending near the second dorsal fin or upper tail area.
Above this stripe, it is yellow or grayish-yellow, while below it’s white with gray or brownish-red edges on the scales.
There’s also a black or red spot near the middle base of their tail fin. Some larger adults have light blue scale centers below the dark stripe along with yellow edges or spots toward their tails.
Dash-and-dot Goatfish also have a dark brown lining in their stomach (peritoneum).
Dash-and-dot Goatfish Reproduction
Mature Dash-and-dot Goatfish swim closer to the shore to breed and find food. Immature individuals between 16.1 to 22.5 cm in length can be both male and female.
But this species is generally considered a functional gonochore, meaning they only have one functioning gender throughout their life.