PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sea Mullet 

Mugil cephalus Linnaeus, 1758

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: IV; I, 8
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 8
Caudal fin rays: 14
Pectoral fin rays: 16-17
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Small to medium-sized fishes with slender robust bodies, a small, broad head, a short snout with a small terminal mouth, and eyes often partly covered adipose tissue. Mullets have two separate short-based dorsal fins of similar size, pectoral fins set high on the body, large scales and no lateral line.

Family level detail.
Slender, robust fishes with a small, broad head, a short snout, a small terminal mouth and eyes often partly covered adipose tissue. They have two separate short-based dorsal fins of similar size, pectoral fins set high on the body, large scales and no lateral line. The family contains more than 70 species.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Mugiliformes
Family:
Mugilidae
Genus:
Mugil
Species:
cephalus

General Description

Body moderately deep, elongate, with two widely-separated short-based dorsal fins, the second opposite the anal fin; eyes with a transparent adipose eyelid with a vertical slit. Greyish-green to greyish-brown above, sides silvery, paler below, eyes silvery; scales with dark spots, sometimes forming indistinct stripes. To 50 cm.

Biology

Sea Mullet usually live in the less saline areas of Port Phillip, and often venture into the Yarra River, and other creeks and drains around the bay. They feed on detritus and plankton.

Habitat

Coastal, estuarine and freshwaters, in depths of 0-20 m

Open water

Distribution guide

Worldwide. In Australia, absent from southern Tasmania and the Great Australian Bight.

Species Group

Fishes Mullets

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

Midwater Surface

Max Size

50 cm

Diet

Omnivore

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Sea Mullet, Mugil cephalus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 17 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6331

Text: creative commons cc by licence