Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Mulliformes
(Goatfishes) > Mullidae
Etymology: Upeneus: Greek, ypene, -es = upper lip (Ref. 45335). More on author: Bleeker.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range 20 - 60 m (Ref. 83903), usually - m (Ref. ). Tropical; 0°C -
Indo-West Pacific: Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, extending eastward to Indonesia. Recorded from the Gulf (Ref. 37588); also from northwestern Australia northward to Japan.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 22.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3470); common length : 14.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3470)
soft rays: 7 - 8. This species is distinguished by the following characters: D VIII,9; pectoral fins 13-14; gill rakers 4-5 + 14-15 = 18-20; lateral line scales 31-34; body depth at first dorsal fin origin 25-28% SL and at anal-fin origin 22-24% SL; caudal-peduncle depth 11-13% SL; maximum head depth 21-23% SL; head depth through eye 17-20% SL; head length 27-30%SL; orbit length 6.1-7.2% SL; upper jaw length 11-12% SL; barbel length 18-21% SL; caudal-fin length 26-29% SL; anal-fin height 16-18% SL; pelvic-fin length 20-23% SL; pectoral-fin length 21-23% SL; first dorsal-fin height 25-29% SL; second dorsal-fin height 16-18% SL; 5-6 weak, red or grey bars on upper caudal fin lobe (not retained on preserved fish); no bars on lower lobe, fully to partly covered with a reddish or greyish band (lost in preserved fish); a pale brown mid-lateral body stripe from behind eye to caudal-fin base (sometimes retained in preserved fish); no dark dorsal-fin tip; yellow barbels when fresh; body reddish or dark grey dorsally, whitish-rose ventrally; head with red or grey pigmentation at snout and above eyes (body may darken dorsally in preserved fish (Ref. 83903).
Inhabits coastal waters down to 100 m. Usually occurs in schools. Feeds on benthic animals (Ref. 2110).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Uiblein, F. and P.C. Heemstra, 2010. A taxonomic review of the Western Indian Ocean goatfishes of the genus Upeneus (Family Mullidae), with descriptions of four new species. Smithiana 11:35-71. (Ref. 83903)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.1 - 28.6, mean 27.7 °C (based on 409 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00832 (0.00499 - 0.01385), b=3.04 (2.90 - 3.18), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.37 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (24 of 100) .