Distinctive Characters: First dorsal fin with 8 spines, second dorsal fin with 1 spine and 8 rays. Anal fin with 1 spine and 6 rays. Pectoral fin with 16-18 (usually 17) rays. Body depth 3.2-3.5 in standard length. Body slightly elongate. Chin with two slender barbels which are shorter than or equal to snout plus eye. Snout long. 3 vertical rows of scales in space between dorsal fins.
Colour: Pale brown to reddish brown dorsally shading to whitish on sides and ventrally. A dark reddish brown stripe from snout through eye below rear of anal fin. A black spot larger than eye just anterior to midbase of caudal fin.
Habitat and Biology: Mostly found on shallow sandy bottoms, but reported to a depth of 100 m. Feeds mainly on benthic crustaceans and polychaetes.
Remarks: Parupeneus barberinus like other goatfishes uses its barbels to probe into the bottom in search of food. When prey animals are found it roots into the sand with its snout.