News / Species Spotlight / Highly Underrated Fish - Bicolor Goatfish (10/29/15)

Highly Underrated Fish - Bicolor Goatfish

In the Wild

Parupeneus barberinoides is found throughout the tropical Pacific Ocean, usually in protected shallow water like lagoons. The are usually found in conjunction with a reef. Juveniles can generally be found schooling over mixed sand and rubble bottoms.

Like all Goatfish, this fish has a "beard" of two barbels that it uses to sift through sand while hunting for worms and small crustaceans. As it grows the Goatfish will consume a wider variety of foods.

Parupeneus barberinoides reaches a max size of about 12 inches. This max size when combined with a diet made up of other delicious things are two of the reasons that it is frequently harvested as a food fish. A much more common adult size is about 7.5 inches.

In the Aquarium

Bicolor goatfish are also frequently called "Dash and Dot Goatfish", "Half & Half Goatfish" and "Swarthy Headed Goatfish".

QM predominantly sells Short Supply Chain MAC Bicolors, which perform very well for us in house. When small, these fish are very active; swimming along the sandbed looking for food and thus will require feeding multiples times per day. The other side effect of this behavior is that the sandbed is constantly being turned over and aerated. A small number of these fish will quickly eat everything there is to eat in the sandbed very quickly.

As they grow Bicolors will tend to eat more aggressively, and are much more likely to consume ornamental shrimps (and just about everything else meaty that they can fit in their mouths.)
Scott W. Michael, Marine Fishes, 1st ed. (T.F.H. Publications Inc, New Jersey, 2001).
QM internal sources: Eli Fleishauer, Adam Mangino, Brent Robinson.