MULLIDAE
goatfishes

  Parupeneus forsskali
(Fourmanoir and Guézé, 1976)

Relevant synonyms
None

Misidentification
None

Meristic formula
D1, VIII D2 7-9; A, I+7; P, 15-16 ; V, I+5; LL, 27-28

 photo : Daniel Golani    

SHORT DESCRIPTION
Body elongated with pointed snout. Mouth at the lower part of head. Jaws do not reach back the vertical of eye. Large canine teeth on upper jaw followed by stout conical teeth. No canine teeth in the lower jaw. A pair of long barble on the chin reaching back the operculum edge. Two dorsal fins. The first dorsal spine very small, the 2nd and 3rd spines are the longest. The last rays of the dorsal and anal fins are elongated. Caudal fin forked. Body covered with large scales, three scales between the two dorsal fins.

color : typical body coloration of this species is whitish with brown back and a black longitudinal stripe running from the snout to below the end of second dorsal fin base, plus a black spot on the upper caudal peduncle. The specimens collected in the Mediterranean had pinkish background, probably due to their deep depth of collection.

size : common 5-25 cm (max. 30 cm).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Mullus spp.: no teeth on the upper jaw; no longitudinal black stripe.
  • Upeneus spp.: no canine teeth in the upper jaw; no longitudinal black stripe.
  • Pseudupeneus prayensis: no longitudinal black stripe.

    BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
    Lives in small groups. Feeds on small benthic invertebrates, mainly crustaceans and polychaetes which they detect by probing their barbles in the sand. Eggs and larvae planktonic. The juveniles settle in sandy shores and use them as nursery grounds.

    habitat : soft substrate between corals and rocks.


  • 1st MEDITERRANEAN RECORD
    2012, Lebanon.


    DISTRIBUTION
    Worldwide : endemic to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Mediterranean : it was first mentioned from the Mediterranean as Pseudopeneus barberinus by Lythgoe and Lythgoe (1975), clearly a mistaken record.  Later several unsubstantiated records and observations were reported from several locations in the Mediterranean. The first confirmed record is from Lebanon (Bariche et al., 2013) followed by several collections from Israel.

    ESTABLISHMENT SUCCESS
    Rare.

    speculated reasons for success :


    MODE OF INTRODUCTION
    Via the Suez Canal.


    IMPORTANCE TO HUMANS
    Currently none. If its population increases, it could be an important commercial species.


    KEY REFERENCES

    • Bariche M., Bilecenoglu M. and Azzurro E., 2013. Confirmed presence of the Red Sea goatfish Parupeneus forsskali (Fourmanoir and Guézé, 1976) in the Mediterranean Sea. BioInvasions Records: 2(2): 173-175.
    • Lythgoe J. and Lythgoe G., 1975.  Fishes of the sea. The coastal waters of the British Isles, northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Garden City, New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday. 320 pp.
    • Sonin O., Salameh P., Edelist D. and Golani D., 2013. First record of the Red Sea goatfish, Parupeneus forsskali (Perciformes: Mullidae) from the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Marine Biodiversity Records, 6(105): doi: 10.1017/S1755267213000791

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    Last update of the species sheet:
    November 2013

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