Mugil cephalus   Linnaeus,  1758 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, JE

Size: 35-100 cm.

Color: Olive-green on back, silvery on sides, shading to white below; 6 or 7 indistinct brown bands down flanks, a dark purple at base of pectoral fin; margins of dorsal and caudal fins dusky.

Body rather robust; head broad and much flattened on top, its length 27 to 29% of standard length. Well developed adipose eyelid. Lips thin, lower lip with a high symphysial knob. Teeth labial, fine, 1 to 6 rows in upper lip, 1 to 4 rows in lower lip, outer row unicuspid, inner rows usually bicuspid. Preorbital slender, filling only half the space between lip and eye, not notched. Two widely separated dorsal fins; first fin with 4 spines, second fin with 1 spine and 8 soft rays. Anal spines 3 in adults; anal soft rays 8 in adults, 9 in larvae. Pectoral fins short (when folded forward does not reach eye), with long axillary scale. Caudal fin forked. Scales in lateral series 38 to 42. Mainly diurnal, feeds on zooplankton, benthic organisms and detritus. Also takes diatom algae and small invertebrates. Feeds occasionally at the surface.

Dioecious, external fertilization, non guarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Females spawn 0.8 to 2.6 million eggs. Sexually mature at 3 to 4 years. Spawns in the sea from July to October, scatters 5- 7 million eggs into the open water/ substratum.

Max. age reported: 16 years.

Synonym (s)
Mugil albula Linnaeus, 1766
(Junior synonym)
Mugil ashanteensis Bleeker, 1863
(Junior synonym)
Mugil cephalotus Valenciennes, 1836
(Junior synonym)
Mugil cephalus ashanteensis Bleeker, 1863
(Junior synonym)
Mugil cephalus cephalus Linnaeus, 1758
(Senior synonym)
Mugil chaptalii (non Eydoux & Souleyet, 1850)
(Misapplied name)
Mugil crenilabis our Forsskal, 1775
(Junior synonym)
Mugil dobula Gunther, 1861
(Junior synonym)
Mugil galapagensis (non Ebeling, 1961)
(Misapplied name)
Mugil gelatinosus Klunzinger, 1872
(Junior synonym)
Mugil grandis Castelnau, 1879
(Junior synonym)
Mugil hypselosoma Ogilby, 1897
(Junior synonym)
Mugil japonicus Temminck & Schlegel, 1845
(Junior synonym)
Mugil lineatus Valenciennes, 1836
(Junior synonym)
Mugil mexicanus Steindachner, 1876
(Junior synonym)
Mugil muelleri Klunzinger, 1880
(Junior synonym)
Mugil mulleri Klunzinger, 1880
(Junior synonym)
Mugil occidentalis Castelnau, 1873
(Junior synonym)
Mugil our Forsskal, 1775
(Junior synonym)
Mugil perusii (non Valenciennes, 1836)
(Misapplied name)
Mugil provensalis Risso, 1810
(Junior synonym)
Mugil vulpinus Nardo, 1847
(Ambiguous synonym)
Myxus barnardi Gilchrist & Thompson, 1914
(Junior synonym)
Myxus caecutiens Gunther, 1876
(Junior synonym)
Myxus pacificus Steindachner, 1900
(Ambiguous synonym)
Myxus superficialis Klunzinger, 1870
(Junior synonym)
Mugil oeur Forsskal : Day, 1876
Mugil tang Bloch, 1794

Common Name (s)
• Ain (Bengali)
• Flathead Grey Mullet (English)
• Flathead Mullet (English)
• Bhomat (Gujarati)
• Boi (Gujarati)
• Gandhia (Gujarati)
• Mala (Kannada)
• Thirutha (Malayalam)
• Tirutha (Malayalam)
• Boita (Marathi)
• Bol (Marathi)
• Mangan (Marathi)
• Boi (Marathi)
• Pilas (Marathi)
• Pilsa (Marathi)
• Sherto (Marathi)
• Kasmeen (Tamil)
• Madavai (Tamil)
• Manla (Tamil)
• Kathi Parenga (Telugu)
• Grey Mullet (English)
• Bale (Konkani)
• Mulanai
• Madavai
• Jumping Mullet (English)
• Shevatao
• Mullet (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquaculture, gamefish. Marketed fresh, dried, salted, and frozen; roe sold fresh or smoked ; also used in Chinese medicine; Highly commercial.)

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic, Estuarine, Sandy, Muddy
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Plants, diatoms, phytoplankton, zooplankton, mollusks, insects, crustaceans, worms, sponges/tunicates, zoobenthos, benthic algae/weeds, cladocerans, planktonic copepods, ostracods, amphopods, detritus, juvenile and adult fish
Predator:  Fishes (Argyrosomus hololepidotus, Anguilla sp., Micropterus salmoides, Pomatomus saltatrix, Lichia amia), crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), sea birds (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris), seals/sea lions (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus), sharks/rays (Eulamia falciformis, Eulamia floridanus), shore birds (Haliaeetus vocifer, Pelecanus onocrotalus, Pelecanus conspicillatus), whales and dolphins
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• West Bengal, Kiagoria INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA (Record: 1985-1987)
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram Mangrove INDIA (Record: 04/1980-03/1982)
• Maharashtra, Thane INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Kerala, Ponnani Estuary INDIA (Record: 03/1997-02/1999)
• Maharashtra, Amba Estuary INDIA
• Orissa, Mahanadi Estuary INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Godavari Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Palk Bay INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Adyar Estuary INDIA (Record: 07/1985-06/1987)
• Kerala, Kovalam INDIA (Record: 07/1985-06/1987)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Pondicherry, Karaikal (Lat: 10.26) (Long: 79.85) INDIA (Record: 01/2003-12/2003)
• Kerala, Ayiramthengu INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary INDIA (Record: 09/2001-05/2002)
• Kerala, Vembanad Kol INDIA
• Goa, Salcete INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin Coast INDIA
• Bay of Bengal (Lat: 11.5) (Long: 80) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 23 mts)
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Kerala, Kayamkulam Lake INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Adyar Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Kovalam INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Ghole (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• West Bengal, Digha Mohana (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Orissa, Puri INDIA (Record: 1987-2006)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Diglipur INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mayabunder INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Havelock INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chidiya Tapu INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Ramanathapuram INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA (Record: 1948-1950)
• Orissa, Dhamra Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada INDIA
• Gujarat, Off Kandla INDIA (Record: 1986-1987)
• Gujarat, Jakhau-Babber Creek (Lat: 23.5) (Long: 68.6) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Gujarat, Medi-Sinthodi Creek (Lat: 23.45) (Long: 68.48) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Gujarat, Sangi-Kharo Creek (Lat: 23.28) (Long: 68.51) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 13.75) (Long: 94.25) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 6.75) (Long: 92.16) INDIA
• Maharashtra, Malvan (Lat: 16.07) (Long: 73.47) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Adyar Backwaters INDIA

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Page last updated on:2012-02-27

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