Upeneus japonicus (Houttuyn, 1782)
Japanese goatfish
photo by CSIRO

 Family:  Mullidae (Goatfishes)
 Max. size:  15.7 cm SL (male/unsexed)
 Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 4 - 200 m
 Distribution:  Western Pacific: W Malaysia and the Philippines to South Korea and Peter the Great Bay, Russia (Ref. 98481). Records from more southern areas are probably mainly misidentifications of Upeneus guttatus (Day) or Upeneus sundaicus (Bleeker).
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 7-7. This species is distinguished by the following characters: D VII + 9; pectoral fins 13-15; gill rakers 6-8 + 18-21 = 24-28. Adult measurements as %SL: body depth at first dorsal-fin origin 21-25 and at anus 18-22; caudal-peduncle depth 8.0-11; maximum head depth 18-21 and through eye 15-17; head length 27-31; orbit length 6.1-8.2; upper jaw length 9.7-12; barbel length 18-23; caudal-fin length 25-29; anal-fin height 15-19; pelvic-fin length 19-23; pectoral-fin length 21-25; first dorsal-fin height 20-24 and second dorsal-fin height 15-19. Colouration: upper caudal-fin lobe in fresh fish with 3-4 red oblique bars while lower caudal-fin lobe almost entirely covered by a broad red stripe that becomes darker distally and is partially surrounded by a dark grey line and by a contrasting white fin margin and white lobe tip exteriorly; there are only weak indications of upper caudal fin lobe bars in preserved specimens with a dark pigmented zone remaining distally at the lower lobe; barbels are yellow; without lateral body stripes; head and body white or silvery ventrally and laterally, sometimes covered with red blotches, and uniformly red dorsally of lateral line; preserved fish are pale brown or brown (Ref. 98481). Description: Differs from other Upeneus with 7-spined dorsal fin in generally having14 pectoral fin rays; 7 + 18 gill rakers; 29 - 30 + 2 lateral line scales; teeth on ectopterygoid present; and, dark brown or black peritoneum (Ref. 43139).
 Biology:  Widespread in sandy regions (Ref. 9137). Minimum depth from Ref. 098481.
 IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated  (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   

 Entered by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 18.04.93
 Modified by: Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen - 13.02.17
 Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 24.03.94

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