Upeneus caudofasciatus, Uiblein & Gledhill & Pavlov & Hoang & Shaheen, 2019

Uiblein, Franz, Gledhill, Daniel C., Pavlov, Dimitri A., Hoang, Tuan Anh & Shaheen, Shaker, 2019, Three new goatfishes of the genus Upeneus (Mullidae) from the Indo-Pacific, with a redescription of colour patterns in U. margarethae, Zootaxa 4683 (2), pp. 151-196 : 168-171

publication ID


publication LSID




persistent identifier


taxon LSID


treatment provided by


scientific name

Upeneus caudofasciatus

n. sp.

Upeneus caudofasciatus n. sp. Uiblein & Gledhill

Tailbar goatfish

( Figures 1 View FIGURE 1 , 6–8 View FIGURE 6 View FIGURE7 View FIGURE 8 ; Tables 2, 4–9)

Holotype. CSIRO H 6717-02 View Materials , adult, 116 mm SL, W Pacific, NE Australia, Queensland, Great Barrier Reef , N of Rockingham Bay, 17° 38.57’ S, 146° 22.79’ E, FRV Gwendoline May, otter trawl, 26 m depth; collector Daniel Gledhill, 25 Nov 2003 (fresh-colour photo) GoogleMaps

Paratypes. (30 adults, 4 subadults: 53–124 mm SL, 1 fresh-colour photo). W Pacific, NE Australia, Queensland: Torres Strait : CSIRO H 6441-03 View Materials , 90 mm SL, Torres Strait , S of Bristow Island, 09° 15.65’ S, 143° 20.72’ E GoogleMaps , FRV Gwendoline May, otter trawl, 28 m depth ; QM I.15833, 83 mm SL, W of Adolphus Passage , 10° 38’ S, 142° 28’ E, 16–18 m depth GoogleMaps , trawl; QM I. 16503, 124 mm SL, Aureed Island area, 9° 57’ S, 143° 17’ E, trawl; Great Barrier Reef: AMS I.20753-004, 14: 53–99 mm SL, Lizard Island area , 2 nm NW of Nymph Island, 14° 36’ S, 145° 14’ E, prawn trawl, 15 m depth GoogleMaps ; AMS I.34398-034, 89 mm SL, South Arm Channel, Port Clinton, adjacent to West Flat , 22° 33’ 29” S, 150° 45’ 19” E, 11 m depth GoogleMaps ; CSIRO H 5957-22 View Materials , 2 View Materials : 83-86 mm SL, near Cape Flattery , 14°46.8’S, 145°15.7’E GoogleMaps , FRV Gwendoline May, otter trawl, 17 m depth ; CSIRO H 6519-21 View Materials , 2 View Materials : 78-98 mm SL, NE of Cooktown , 15° 01.91’ S, 145° 29.40’ E GoogleMaps , FRV Gwendoline May, trawl, 39 m depth ; CSIRO H 7212-01 View Materials , 95 mm SL, SE of Cairns , 17° 08.90’ S, 146° 12.11’ E GoogleMaps , FRV Gwendoline May, trawl, 35 m depth (fresh-colour photo) ; CSIRO H 7660-01 View Materials , 2 View Materials : 110-112 mm SL, E of Northumberland Islands , 21° 37.38’ S, 150° 07.79’ E GoogleMaps , FRV Gwendoline May, 34 m depth , trawl; CSIRO H 7664-01 View Materials , 105 mm SL, NE of Gladstone , 23° 37.47’ S, 151° 41.48’ E GoogleMaps , FRV Gwendoline May, otter trawl, 38 m depth ; QM I.15628, 89 mm SL (largest of 11), 2 nm off NW of Nymph Island , 14° 36’ S, 145° 14’ E, trawl, 15 m depth GoogleMaps ; QM I.15677, 83 mm SL, 5 nm WNW of Lizard Island , 15° 30’ S, 145° 22’ E, trawl, 20 m depth GoogleMaps ; QM I.16213, 83 mm SL, (1 of 6 (marked)), 3 ml NW of Lizard Island , 14° 38’ S, 145° 24’ E, trawl, 26 m depth GoogleMaps ; QM I.17982, 93 mm SL, SE of Cooktown , 15° 46’ S, 145° 35’ E, 27 m depth GoogleMaps ; QM I.18044, 86 mm SL, Lizard Island, W of, 14° 36’ S, 145° 3’ E, 13 m depth GoogleMaps ; QM I. 39294, 105 mm SL, NE of Yeppoon , 22° 44.16’ S, 151° 26.56’ E GoogleMaps , FRV Gwendoline May, trawl, 60 m depth ; QM I.39316, 2, 94-111 mm SL, Flora Passage , 17° 3’ S, 146° 14’ E, trawl, 37-42 m depth GoogleMaps .

Non-types. (11 adults, 9 subadults: 50–107 mm SL, 1 fresh-colour photo). W Pacific, NE Australia, Queensland: Torres Strait: AMS I.20827-027, 3: 80–107 mm SL, Cape York, 2 nm NE of Hannibal Island, 11° 33’ S, 142° 57’ E, prawn trawl, 23 m depth; AMS I.20923-001, 5: 63–97 mm SL, Cape York , 10° 39’ S, 142° 30’ E, prawn trawl GoogleMaps ; CSIRO H 3637-10 View Materials , 69 View Materials mm SL, W of Thursday Island, 10° 34’ S, 141° 59’ E, FRV Southern Surveyor , trawl, 12 m depth (fresh-colour photo) GoogleMaps ; CSIRO H 3637-11 View Materials , 50 View Materials mm SL, W of Thursday Island, 10° 34’ S, 141° 59’ E, FRV Southern Surveyor , trawl, 12 m depth GoogleMaps ; CSIRO H 7661-01 View Materials , 2 View Materials : 60 mm SL (both), S of Banks Island , 10° 25.20’ S, 142° 18.60’ E, FRV Gwendoline May, trawl, 14 m depth GoogleMaps ; CSIRO H 7689-02 View Materials 3: 56–62 mm SL, NE of Dungeness Island , 9° 39.49’ S, 142° 47.61’ E, FRV Gwendoline May, trawl, 10 m depth GoogleMaps ; QM I. 16482, 104 mm SL, sand cay SE of Coconut Island , 10° 11’ S, 143° 14’ E, trawl GoogleMaps ; QM I.16483, 97 mm SL, Aureed Island area , 9° 57’ S, 143° 17’ E, Trawl GoogleMaps ; Great Barrier Reef : AMS I.20752-013, 3 (of 5): 54–92 mm SL, 5 nm WNW of Lizard Island, 14° 30’ S, 145° 22’ E, prawn trawl, 20 m depth GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis. Dorsal fins VIII + 9, the first spine minute; pectoral fins 12–14; gill rakers 5–7 + 16–19 = 22–25; lateral-line scales 28–30; measurements in % SL, adults: body depth at first dorsal-fin origin 24–28; body depth at anus 19–24; caudal-peduncle depth 9.9–11; caudal-peduncle width 2.6–4.3; maximum head depth 20–24; head depth through eye 16–20; suborbital depth 9.2–13; interorbital length 7.5–8.8; head length 28–31; snout length 9.9–12; postorbital length 10–13; orbit length 6.7–8.7; upper-jaw length 9.9–13; barbel length 18–23; interdorsal distance 12–17; caudal-peduncle length 21–25; caudal-fin length 27–32; anal-fin height 16–20; pelvic-fin length 20–24; pectoral-fin length 19–23; pectoral-fin width 3.6–4.8; first dorsal-fin height 19–23; second dorsal-fin height 18–21; measurements in % SL, subadults: body depth at first dorsal-fin origin 24–27; body depth at anus 19–22; caudal-peduncle depth 9.6–11; caudal-peduncle width 2.7–3.8; maximum head depth 20–23; head depth through eye 17–20; suborbital depth 9.4–11; interorbital length 7.6–8.6; head length 30–32; snout length 11–12; postorbital length 11–13; orbit length 8.1–8.8; upper-jaw length 11–13; barbel length 19–23; interdorsal distance 12–15; caudalpeduncle length 22–24; caudal-fin length 28–32; anal-fin height 16–19; pelvic-fin length 22–25; pectoral-fin length 21–23; pectoral-fin width 3.8–4.6; first dorsal-fin height 20–23; second dorsal-fin height 18–21; fresh colour: head and body dorsally red-brown or dark grey mottled, ventrally white, often with pale beige dots; upper lobe of caudal fin with 4 or 5 red or brown bars (3 or 4 bars in subadults), lower caudal-fin lobe with 4 to 9 red, brown or darkbrown bars, sometimes dorsally covered by a red, brown or dark-brown stripe; bars on both lobes of pupil width or less, interrupted by pale, partly hyaline interspaces of less or similar width; lower caudal-lobe tip sometimes black; barbels white, pale rose whitish, or white with beige tip region; a single yellow, beige or pale brown mid-lateral body stripe of pupil width from snout tip through eye to caudal-fin base, following lateral line in anterior two thirds of body; stripe covered by 1–4 sections with horizontal series of 2–4 dark dots, the posteriormost dots behind second dorsal-fin base; first dorsal fin with 3 or 4 red or brown, often fused stripes and the tip region pale or not darker than rest of fin; second dorsal fin with 3 or 4 red or brown well-separated stripes with hyaline interspaces; pectoral fins hyaline, pelvic and anal fins weakly pigmented and partly hyaline; preserved fish pale, often with remains of dark pigmentation deriving from caudal-fin bars, mid-lateral dots, saddle and/or second dorsal-fin distal stripe.

Description. Measurements in % SL and counts for types are given in Table 8; morphometric data as ratios of SL for holotype, data for paratypes in brackets: body elongate, body depth at first dorsal-fin origin 3.9 [3.5–4.2], body depth at anal-fin origin 4.7 [4.2–5.2], head length 3.4 [3.2–3.6] subequal to caudal-fin length (3.6 [3.1–3.7]), second dorsal-fin height 5.5 [4.7–5.7], only slightly shallower than first dorsal fin (5.1 [4.3–5.1]) and similar to barbel length (5.1 [4.4–5.6]), pelvic-fin length 4.7 [4.0–5.0], similar to length of pectoral fins (5.0 [4.3–5.2]) and body depth at first dorsal-fin origin; caudal-peduncle depth 9.8 [8.9–10], larger than orbit length (15 [12–15]); and caudal-peduncle width 30 [24–38], narrower than pectoral-fin width (22 [21–27]).

Colour. Freshly collected fish. ( Figure 7 View FIGURE7 A–C). All three specimens and especially holotype and paratype ( Figure 7 A, B View FIGURE7 ) show obvious signs of lesions (most probably due to trawling damage) with large red, skin-lacking patches on head below eye, gill cover or mid of body. Otherwise head and body are ventrally white, overlain by small beige to beige-rose dots associated with individual scales in paratype ( Figure 7 B View FIGURE7 ) and non-type ( Figure 7 C View FIGURE7 ); belly and ventral part of caudal peduncle white; head from above snout and eye and body above lateral line pale brown-red to dark-grey mottled, bordered below by a mid-lateral stripe of pupil width which runs rather straight or only slightly bent from caudal-fin base to eye in yellow or greenish beige colour, becoming reddish on head and bending ventrally towards snout tip (stripe on head not visible in holotype); on the mid-lateral body stripe from behind head to behind second-dorsal fin up to 4 well-separated sections just behind head, below each dorsal, and behind second dorsal fin, each with 1–3 red, brown or black dots of less than pupil width; from behind head until below base of second dorsal fin, a thin white stripe separates the dorsal body pigmentation from the mid-lateral body stripe; lateral line weakly visible as a series of mostly red dots placed well above mid-lateral stripe in anterior half of body starting to cross the stripe just in front of anterior second dorsal-fin base, continuing behind dorsal fin just below stripe towards caudal-fin base; barbels entirely white (paratype), white, intermingled with pale rose (holotype) or white with a beige tip region (non-type) ( Figure 7 View FIGURE7 A–C); caudal fin with 9–14 oblique red bars crossing both lobes entirely, or placed on fin tips; upper caudal-fin lobe with 4–5 bars of pupil width or slightly narrower, the distal-most bar covering fin tip in holotype and non-type; bars separated by hyaline interspaces of similar width or slightly wider; in holotype and non-type blotches of dark red or black pigmentation on some of the bars; lower caudal-fin lobe covered by 5–9 red bars of similar width or slightly narrower (holotype) than bars on dorsal fin lobe, with hyaline interspaces being of similar width or slightly narrower; in all three specimens the ventral lobe ends in a black tip and some of the other bars contain dark-red or black blotches; the lower fin lobe is in addition crossed longitudinally by a pale-red stripe that reaches from base of fin to fin tip, crossing nearly the entire fin lobe apart from ventral margin (types) or the dorsal half of lobe (non-type); first dorsal fin almost entirely covered with pale red or pale orange pigmentation intermingled with hyaline areas; second dorsal fin with 3 red stripes of orbit width or less, one stripe at fin base, one intermediate and one at or close to fin tip, the latter being darker than the other stripes; pelvic fins hyaline with up to five narrow red stripes; anal fin with or without stripes, pectoral fins hyaline.

Preserved fish. Head and body mostly uniformly pale brown, greyish brown or brown, sometimes slightly darker dorsally, gill cover silvery or pale and partly transparent, lateral line, when intact, well visible in entire range from behind head to caudal-fin base; barbels pale brown or pale creamy; mid-lateral body stripe completely lost, but often remains of dark dots mid-laterally in the area of stripe below and posterior to dorsal fins (51 % of 41 adults, 60 % of 10 subadults); dark pigmentation remains occur also in other areas: saddle behind second dorsal fin (50 % in adults vs. 100 % in juveniles), caudal fin (88 % vs. 100 %), and second dorsal-fin distal stripe (76 % vs. 100 %); on caudal fin with retained pigmentation remains of up to 6 oblique bars visible on each lobe; in adults 71 % (of 42 fish) show remains of bars on both lobes, in subadults 100 % (= all 13 fish); of all adults only 7 % show no dark pigmentation remains (pigmentation degree 0) and 34 % have dark pigmentation in all body and fin regions (pigmentation degree 4) vs. 60 % in adults. Unpigmented areas of caudal and second dorsal fins and other fins pale hyaline.

Etymology. The name refers to the occurrence of oblique conspicuous bars which cross both caudal-fin lobes entirely.

Distribution, habitat and size. SW Pacific, NE Australia, Queensland, from W of Thursday Island and S of Daru Island, Torres Strait to NE of Gladstone, Great Barrier Reef; maximum depth 60 m, commonly trawled above soft bottoms at between 15 and 40 m; maximum size 12.5 cm SL.

Intraspecific comparisons. Subadults differ from adults in having a slightly longer head, shallower pelvic-fin depth and longer pelvic fins ( Tables 2, 9; Figure 8 View FIGURE 8 ); they differ in having fewer bars on the caudal fin (only preserved fish could be compared; Tables 2, 9); dark pigmentation is more often found in preserved subadults than in preserved adults ( Tables 2, 9; see also preserved colour description above).

Remarks. Because of the relatively small distribution area of the species and low numbers of specimens available from the most distant localities, no quantitative population comparisons could be conducted. In two of the 55 studied specimens the tiny first-dorsal fin spine is overgrown with skin or very small and hence difficult to detect. Though this species appears to be rather common on shallow soft bottoms near coral reefs, we could not find any in-situ fresh-colour photo documentation.


Australian National Fish Collection


Queensland Museum