21 Fin-tastic Facts About The Bicolor Goatfish For Kids

Bicolor goatfish facts are for marine-life explorers.

Also known as swarthy-headed goatfish and half-and-half goatfish, the bicolor goatfish (Parupeneus barberinoides) belonging to the family of Mullidae comprises a total of six genera along with 86 identified species. The fish has derived its name from its appearance due to its goatee or pair of barbels on the chin and the dual body color. The anterior is burgundy while the posterior is white-yellow. Moreover, goatfishes are also known to be expert mimics and capable of camouflaging themselves by changing colors. This is one of the reasons why they maintain close contact with the oceanic sand bed. Whenever the fish senses a predator looming in the vicinity, it mingles with the sand, acquiring a pale shade to remain unnoticed. For instance, the mimic goatfish can resemble the blue-striped snapper by mimicking its color patterns.

However, the species has been marked as vulnerable which means that their population needs to be preserved. Uncontrolled fishing and harvesting are great threats to this species. Moreover, the marine aquarium trade has resulted in overexploitation. Conservation measures must be implemented at the earliest with stringency to protect this species from the brink of extinction.

Continue reading for some more facts on the bicolor goatfish. If you want to explore some more animals, then have a look at these facts about the neon goby and round goby.

Bicolor Goatfish

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Worms, heart urchins, small crustaceans, mollusks, and brittle stars

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

17.6 oz (500 g)

How long are they?

12 in (30 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Burgundy anterior and yellow posterior

Skin Type

Wet scales

What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Around coral reefs in temperate and tropical oceanic waters


Western Pacific e.g. Fiji





Scientific Name

Parupeneus barberinoides





Bicolor Goatfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bicolor goatfish?

The bicolor goatfish (Parupeneus barberinoides) is a species of fish.

What class of animal does a bicolor goatfish belong to?

Swarthy-headed goatfish have been categorized under the class Actinopterygii, genus Parupeneus.

How many bicolor goatfishes are there in the world?

No specific detail about the accurate number of bicolor goatfish (Parupeneus barberinoides) is available due to lack of quantification but it can be inferred from the Vulnerable status of this marine fish that their numbers are falling dramatically.

Where does a bicolor goatfish live?

This species is found in the Western Pacific marine waters and the eastern Indian Ocean. In the South China Sea, the bicolor goatfish can be traced to southeastern Vietnam and the Natuna Islands, the Philippines, Fiji, and the Moluccas in the western Pacific as well as western Samoa. They can also be located around the northern parts of the Ryukyu Islands and southern parts of Australia.

What is a bicolor goatfish's habitat?

A bicolor goatfish habitat includes protected waters like lagoons and bays or even deeper in the outer areas of the reef. The fish can be commonly traced near the Pacific coral reef where it is safe from intrusion. Generally, the habitat comprises rubble, seaweed, and sand-covered seafloor. They stick close to the sand bed. Since this species has also gained popularity as aquarium fish like a guppy, they can also be found in several houses inside well-maintained fish tanks. These fish also inhabit several fisheries due to their high commercial value and shrimp-like taste.

Who do bicolor goatfishes live with?

The bicolor goatfish can either be found dwelling solitarily or in small groups. The juveniles move to schools.

How long does a bicolor goatfish live?

The average lifespan of a bicolor goatfish lacks research data due and so no conclusions can be made regarding the longevity of this species. However, they have a high metabolism rate.

How do they reproduce?

Due to the lack of detailed analysis, there is a lack of information on the breeding habits and behavior of bicolor goatfish (Parupeneus barberinoides). However, these pelagic spawners eject many eggs into marine waters. Before hatching, these eggs float freely in the ocean water. With their high metabolism, it takes around four to eight weeks for them to transform and grow barbels. Juveniles stay near soft bottoms lined with sand and seaweeds.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has classified the conservation status of the bicolor goatfish under Least Concern. The species is plentiful within its range of habitat and the positive population trend doesn't qualify these fish to be vulnerable.

Bicolor Goatfish Fun Facts

What do bicolor goatfishes look like?

The bicolor goatfish (Parupeneus barberinoides) has a significant burgundy-colored anterior and a white-yellow posterior. They have a large black dot near the dorsal fin, a pale yellow caudal fin, and a forked tail. The black dot resembles a large eye.

Bicolor goatfish facts are about this peaceful aquarium fish.

How cute are they?

The bicolor goatfish looks adorable mainly because of the goatee. Moreover, this glamorous fish adds a splash of colors to any aquarium, so it is one of the most adored fish species.

How do they communicate?

The barbels or whiskers help the goatfish to sense prey and also to establish connections. Other communication patterns have not been identified.

How big is a bicolor goatfish?

An average bicolor goatfish size is moderate as these fish can reach up to 12 in (30 cm). It is smaller than the dash-and-dot goatfish measuring around 24 in (60 cm) as well as the salmon which measures 19.6-59 in (50-150 cm).

How fast can a bicolor goatfish swim?

Although the speed range of this species hasn't been explored, they are known to be agile while preying on crustaceans. The fish has the potential to reach a minimum lower depth range of 328 ft (100 m).

How much does a bicolor goatfish weigh?

The weight of this species is unknown. As all fishes under the family Mullidae have an average weight of 17.6 oz (500 g), we can assume the same for this fish.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female members have no specific attributions and are generally called male and female bicolor goatfish.

What would you call a baby bicolor goatfish?

You might be amused to know that the baby of any fish species is regarded as a fry.

What do they eat?

The carnivorous diet of the half-and-half goatfish includes worms, heart urchins, small crustaceans like shrimp, mollusks, invertebrates, and brittle stars.

Are they poisonous?

The fish is absolutely nonvenomous and they are often found peacefully swimming in marine aquariums or fish tanks. Although this fish is a carnivore and eats worms, crustaceans, invertebrates, and mollusks in its diet, it is not aggressive when interacting with human beings.

Would they make a good pet?

Bicolor goatfish are often kept as pets in an aquarium. However, they require a very high care level when living in an aquarium.

The tank size must be spacious enough to allow free movement. The minimum tank size must be medium to large. The temperature of the tank must be maintained at 75-82 F (23-28 C). The diet of a pet bicolor goatfish must include mainly crustaceans and invertebrates. They can be offered a diet of shrimps, krill, clams, and plankton. The fish is known to be peaceful but they are very active also engaging in a lot of sand-sifting.

Did you know...

Did you know that the dash-and-dot goatfish is the largest among all the species of goatfish under the Mullidae family? It's almost double when compared to an average bicolor goatfish size.

Goatfish, with its mildly sweet flavor, is a Hawaiian delicacy. The fish is consumed in many places worldwide.

Maintaining a goatfish in an aquarium can be costly. Depending on the size of the fish, the average cost of a half-and-half goatfish ranges between $26.99-89.99.

What are the different types of goatfish and how are they different?

Among the 86 species of goatfish, the yellow goatfish and black-spot goatfish are famous. The yellow goatfish is endemic to the Atlantic Ocean while the other one is native to the Pacific Ocean. Both fish differ from the bicolor goatfish in their color pattern.

Who are bicolor goatfishes' tank mates?

Species of similar size can be maintained with a bicolor goatfish. Reef-safe fish species can be added to an aquarium containing goatfish. For instance, gobies are coral reef safe. However, it must be ensured that the tank mates are not aggressive. The swarthy-headed goatfish can get on well with other species of goatfish as they don't exhibit aggressive behavior.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our lambchop rasbora facts and pigfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable black wolf fish coloring pages.



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