Goatfishes are characterized by a pair of chin barbels (or "goatee"), which contain chemosensory organs and are used to probe the sand or holes in the reef for food. Their bodies are deep and elongated, with forked tails and widely separated dorsal fins. The first dorsal fin has 6-8 spines the second dorsal has one spine and 8-9 soft rays, shorter than anal fin. Spines in anal fin 1 or 2, with 5-8 soft rays. They have 24 vertebrae. Many goatfishes are brightly colored. The largest species, the dash-and-dot goatfish (Parupeneus barberinus), grows to 60 cm in length most species are less than half this size. Within the family are six genera and about eighty-six species.