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Fish. Spotted goatfish swim in small schools, constantly foraging by nuzzling the sea bottom around coral reefs. They use two fleshy whiskers called “barbels,” located under the tip of their chin, to search for prey hiding in the sand. Very active fish, they need to eat often to keep up their energy. When they become inactive, they rapidly change color from mostly white to mottled red to a reddish-brown. In late spring, pairs are seen rising in steep looping circles during spawning. Goatfish grow to a maximum of about 30 cm (1 ft).
Scientific Name Lifespan
Pseudupeneus maculatus Unknown
Carnivore. Shrimp, crabs, bottom-dwelling invertebrates, clams, and clam worms.
Predators and Threats
Larger marine animals.
Reefs, shallow water, and eelgrass beds in the western Atlantic Ocean from Brazil to northeastern United States (New Jersey).