Coloring Book


This next installation of my fish coloring book is about Goatfishes. I think we are pretty likely to see some Yellow Goatfish on our snorkeling trip, but it might be hard to see a spotted goatfish while snorkeling. This is mainly because yellow goatfish will swim around in groups while Spotted Goatfish tend to just hang out on the bottom. I’ve included these fish mainly because I think the way these fish find food is really remarkable. I have included a short recording of a Spotted Goatfish using its barbels to search for food over the sand to give you an idea of what I mean.

You can read about this project in the post “A Fish Journal for a six-year-old” and you can see all the posts for this project using the tag “Fish Coloring Book“.

Aruba; 12/02/2013 – photo by Erica or Chuck Lauer Vose

The spotted goatfish can grow to be five to eight inches long and likes to hang out on the sandy bottom with other species of fish that forage in the sand (like wrasses). 

Klein Bonaire Drift Snorkel; 01/15/2019 – photo by Chuck or Erica Lauer Vose

The yellow goatfish can get up to 12 inches long and likes to hang out in groups of fish made up of many different species. If you see a group of fish with yellow on their bodies, look closely there are probably a few Yellow Goatfish mixed in. 

They like to use their barbels to rummage around in the sand looking for food. These barbels are sensory organs a little like fingers that help them locate tasty invertebrates. 

Maui; Slaughterhouse beach – 5/26/19. Video by Erica Lauer Vose

Goatfish are pretty calm around people, in fact, sometimes divers can comb their fingers through the sand and a goatfish will swim over to see if they found anything tasty!