Goldsaddle goatfish (species: Parupeneus cyclostomus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Parupeneus cyclostomus
Goldsaddle goatfish

©Anne Hoggett: Two colour forms of Parupeneus cyclostomus near the outer crest of Ribbon Reef 10 near Lizard Island.

©Anne Hoggett: Yellow phase Parupeneus cyclostomus on the reef flat at Cod Hole near Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Mullidae
Genus Parupeneus
Species Parupeneus cyclostomus



Distinguishing features

Large adults are yellowish gray. The edges of their scales are bright blue except ventrally, the edges are more broadly blue posteriorly. A large, hemispherical, saddle-like, yellow spot covers most of upper half of caudal peduncle. The region around the eye is yellow with radiating short narrow blue bands. The caudal fin can have longitudinal blue bands; second dorsal and anal fins with narrow oblique blue bands.

A second smaller color phase is entirely yellow, the dorsal peduncular spot sometimes apparent by being brighter yellow than rest of body. (Fishbase)


  • Up to 50 cm (Length of specimen)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Moderately common

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Other references

  • Arnal, C. (2000). Ecologie comportementale de la symbiose poisson nettoyeur/ poisson client: motivations et honnĂȘtetĂ©, Ph.D. thesis, University of Perpignan, France. LIRS catalog number 637.
  • Caley, M.J. (1991). Mechanisms of coexistence in communities of coral-reef fishes, Ph.D. thesis, University of Sydney. LIRS catalog number 307.
  • View all references