Diamondscale Mullet, Liza vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard 1825)

Other Names: Diamond Scale Mullet, Diamond-scale Mullet, Diamond-scaled Mullet, Large Scale Mullet, Largescale Mullet, Large-scaled Mullet, Squaretail Mullet

Diamondscale Mullet, Ellochelon vaigiensis, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Anne Hoggett / Lizard Island Research Station. License: CC By Attribution

An olive-brown mullet with silvery sides and a whitish belly, dark scale margins forming a chequerboard pattern, a yellow tail, and a truncate or square caudal fin. Juveniles have black pectoral fins.
Many authors refer to this species as Ellochelon vaigiensis.

Video of juvenile Diamondscale Mullet in an aquarium.
More Diamondscale Mullet in an aquarium.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Liza vaigiensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Aug 2019,

Diamondscale Mullet, Liza vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard 1825)

More Info


Central coast of Western Australia and Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, around the tropical north to northern New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical Indo-west-central Pacific. Inhabits coastal lagoons, marshes, estuaries and the lower reaches of rivers.


Dorsal fin IV-V + 8-9; Anal fin III, 7-9.


Olive-brown above, sides silvery, abdomen white or slightly pale yellow; longitudinal marks on scales forming about 6 longitudinal stripes on sides; scales also with darkened margins giving slight chequered appearance to sides. Iris with yellow patches. Caudal fin yellow. Pectoral fin completely black in small fish; lower section yellowish in adults; fins otherwise yellowish-white with dusky margins. No axillary scale visible in the pectoral fins


Feeds on phytoplankton, algae and detritus.


Spawns at sea.

Species Citation

Mugil vaigiensis Quoy & Gaimard 1825, Voyage Autour du Monde: 337, pl. 59(2). Type locality: Waigeo (as Vaigiou), Indonesia.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Diamondscale Mullet, Liza vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard 1825)


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21 

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Bleeker, P. 1854. Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van de Kokos-eilanden. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 7: 37-48. (as Mugil rossi)

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Castelnau, F.L. de 1875. Researches on the fishes of Australia. Intercolonial Exhibition Essays. 2. pp. 1–52 in, Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 : Official Record. Melbourne. (as Mugil ventricosus)

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37381008

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-10 m

Fishing:Aquarium, commercial fish

Habitat:Reef associated, estuaries

Max Size:70 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map