Spotted Goatfish

Pseudupeneus maculatus

Maximum Size:

12 in (30 cm)


At least 7 years.

Typical depth:

0–115 ft (0–35 m)


Spotted goatfish are most often encountered in shallow water over rock- or sand-bottomed habitat near reefs. They feed on bottom-dwelling crabs, shrimp and small fish. Spotted goatfish are easily recognized by the three dark blotches along their back and the telltale barbels they use to stir up the sand when they hunt.


Sharks, snapper and jacks.

Did you know?

Protective mimicry is when a fish evolves body coloration and behavior similar to another fish, to make itself safer. The similar appearance and schooling behavior of the yellow goatfish and smallmouth grunt is an example of protective mimicry.