Gold-saddle Goatfish: The Ultimate Guide

Gold-saddle Goatfish

Gold-saddle Goatfish, also known as Blue Goatfish or Yellowsaddle Goatfish, is found in the Indo-Pacific region.

This fish lives near coral reefs, rocky areas, and reef flats in lagoons and seaward reefs. It swims close to the ocean floor.

Gold-saddle Goatfish is important for commercial fishing and people enjoy catching it for fun. However, be careful because it may contain a harmful toxin called ciguatera.

You can also find this fish in aquariums.

Young Gold-saddle Goatfish swim together in groups while adults prefer being alone. They eat small fish, crustaceans, worms, shrimp, crabs, octopuses, and snails during daytime hours.

You need to handle these fish with caution while adding them to a reef aquarium due to their feeding habits.

Gold-saddle Goatfish Interesting Facts

  • Gold-saddle Goatfish live in the Indo-Pacific region near coral reefs and rocky areas, at depths of 2 to 125 meters.
  • These fish can contain a harmful toxin called ciguatera, making them potentially dangerous for consumption.
  • Adult Gold-saddle Goatfish are solitary creatures while young ones swim in groups.

Gold-saddle Goatfish Habitat

Gold-saddle Goatfish, also known by its scientific name Parupeneus cyclostomus, is a marine fish endemic to the Indo-Pacific region.

Its habitat ranges from the Red Sea and Africa’s east coast to the Hawaiian and French Polynesian islands.

It’s also found near Japan’s Ryukyu and Ogasawara Islands, as well as Australia. This marine fish lives in reefs and does not migrate.

It prefers depths of 2 to 125 meters (6.5 to 410 feet) and thrives in tropical waters with a temperature range of 30°N to 35°S latitude and 35°E to 124°W longitude.

Water Temperature:Unknown
Water pH:Unknown
Water Hardness:Unknown

Gold-saddle Goatfish Physical Characteristics

Size: 13.8 inches (35.0 centimeters)

Gold-saddle Goatfish can reach up to a maximum length of 19.7 inches (50.0 centimeters) but is commonly found around 13.8 inches (35.0 centimeters).

The maximum recorded weight of this fish is 2.3 kg (5 lbs).

Some of the unique features of Gold-saddle Goatfish are:

  • 8 dorsal spines, 9 dorsal soft rays, 1 anal spine, and 7 anal soft rays,
  • There are typically 16 pectoral rays, but sometimes there can be 15 or 17,
  • They have a total of 29 to 33 gill rakers,
  • Their body depth is about three times the standard length (SL), with a deeper body as they grow larger,
  • The head length is about three times shorter than the standard length (SL),
  • Their snout is long and their eyes are small in proportion to their head size, and
  • They have very long barbels that are longer than their head length.


Large Gold-saddle Goatfish adults are yellowish-gray with bright blue edges on their scales. A large yellow spot covers most of the upper half of the tail base.

The area around the eye is yellow with short blue bands radiating outwards.

The caudal fin has longitudinal blue bands, while the second dorsal and anal fins have narrow oblique blue bands.

Some Gold-saddle Goatfish may show an entirely yellow color phase with a brighter yellow spot on the tail base.

Gold-saddle Goatfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Parupeneus cyclostomus
Also Known As:Gold-saddle Goatfish, Blue Goatfish, Yellowsaddle Goatfish
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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