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Mullidae (Goatfishes)

Species Currently in the DFL

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Mulloidichthys dentatus
Mexican Goatfish
About This Family
Warm temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, with a few species in brackish water.
Usually over sand or mud bottoms, occasionally near reefs where sand is abundant.
Goatfishes have two prominent, chemosensory barbels on the chin and two widely separated dorsal fins. The barbels are used in detecting food, such as worms, shrimps, crabs, mollusks, echinoderms and small fishes. They protrude perpendicular to the body when the goatfish is searching for food buried in the sand, but are tucked snugly under the chin when not in use. The barbels may also be used to attract a mate.

Goatfishes are excellent foodfishes. The largest species grows to a maximum length of 60 cm. There are six genera and 62 species.

Allen & Robertson 1994; Nelson 2006; Randall, pp. 1654-1659, in: Carpenter 2002; Thomson et al. 2000
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