|Parupeneus forsskali from Sudan Coast|
(Fourmanoir & Guézé, 1976)
The species name forsskali honors the Swedish naturalist and explorer Peter Forsskål (1732-1763).
Distribution and habitat
This species can be found in the Indian Ocean, from the Red Sea into the Gulf of Aden and in Socotra. Through the Suez Canal it is established in the eastern Mediterranean. These marine subtropical fishes are shallow sandy bottoms and reef-associated, with a depth range 1–45 metres (3 ft 3 in–147 ft 8 in).
Parupeneus forsskali can reach a common length of about 25 centimetres (9.8 in), with a maximum length of 28 centimetres (11 in) in males. The Red Sea goatfish has a relatively elongate body and a pointed snout, with the twin chin barbels typical of goatfishes. These fishes have eight dorsal spines, nine dorsal soft rays and seven anal soft rays. The body color is white with a broad black to dark brown stripe, sometimes tending to reddish, reaching from the upper lip through the eye and along the body, followed by an irregular roundish black spot at the base of the yellow caudal peduncle. Body above stripe is grayish green. The caudal fin is yellow, while the second dorsal and anal fins have narrow blue and yellow stripes.
Red Sea goatfish spend most of their time moving slowly in small groups over the bottom searching for prey with their barbels. They mainly feed on small invertebrates living on sand bottoms (worms, small crustaceans).
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