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Common names: goatfish (English), salmonete (Espanol)
Mulloidichthys vanicolensis (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1831)
Body elongate, cylindrical, underside of head and body nearly flat; snout blunt; eye high on side of head; mouth small, at lower edge of head, protrusible, top jaw not reaching to under front of eye; relatively small villiform or conical teeth; no teeth on roof of mouth; gill rakers 31-36 (average 33); chin with a pair of large, long barbells, barbel length 20-26% of SL (average 22.9%); opercle with a spine; 2 well-separated dorsal fins, VIII (first spine minute, often embedded) + I, 8; anal rays I-II, 6; pectoral rays 17 (16-17), fin 19.2-23.2% of SL (average 21.1%); a forked tail; scales large, slightly rough, 36-42 on lateral line; 6 rows of scales between 2 dorsal fins.
Body silvery white; a blue-edged yellow stripe along its center; tail and other median fins yellow.
Size: reaches 31 cm.
Habitat: rocky and Coral reefs and adjacent sand areas.
Depth: 2-115 m.
Widespread throughout the Indo-central Pacific. While it was not thought to occur in the tropical eastern Pacific its occurrence there was demonstrated by genetic analysis. Very similar to M. dentatus, but differs in having, on average, more pectoral fin rays, a slightly longer pectoral fin, slightly longer barbels and more gill rakers. These differences are so slight that in practice it is probably not possible to separate all individals of the two species when they are together at the same location.