This goatfish (Upeneichthys lineatus) was photographed off Mayor Island in the Bay of Plenty. Goatfish are bottom-living fish that are common in northern New Zealand waters to depths of 100 metres. They are named for their goatee beards, which are barbels (long, fleshy projections) with which the goatfish detects prey buried in the sand. They gulp up the hapless fish or crustacean together with a fair amount of sand, which is expelled through the gills. Goatfish can change colour and patterns in chameleon-like displays.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Department of Conservation
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