Mullet Family Photos and Information – Mugilidae

The Mullet Family – Mugilidae

Striped Mullet, Mugil cephalus and White Mullet, Mugil curema, two representative members of the Mugilidae Family.

The Mullets belong to the Mugilidae Family and are known in Mexico’s fishing areas as lisas. The family includes 72 global species divided in 17 genera. In general they are poorly studied and poorly characterized. In Mexican waters three species are found in the Atlantic, five in the Pacific, and two in both oceans.

The Mullets are medium to large fish, the largest reaching a maximum length of 1.6 meters (5 feet 3 inches). They are generally silvery and have elongated bodies. Most have broad flattened heads, eyes partially covered with a transparent fatty eyelid, and small terminal mouths that open in the front and are equipped with small or nonexistent teeth. Their caudal fins are concave or weakly forked. They have two short widely spaced dorsal fins, the first having four slender spines. Their pectoral fins are high on the body and their pelvic fins originate after the pectoral fin base. They are covered with large scales and have no lateral line.

The Mullets are found in all tropical and temperate seas near shore and many enter brackish estuaries and fresh water. They travel in large schools of up to several hundred individuals. They consume algae, detritus, fish eggs, insects, and plankton. Reproduction is oviparous with eggs fertilized externally by males. Eggs and larvae are pelagic. They are considered an excellent food fish and sold commercially. In Southeast Asia they are grown via aquaculture. They date to the Middle-Miocene period, 16 million years ago.

There are four members of the Mullet Family currently presented in this website:

Liseta Mullet, Mugil setosus
Snouted Mullet, Chaenomugil proboscideus
Striped Mullet, Mugil cephalus
White Mullet, Mugil curema