Popeye Mullet, Rhinomugil nasutus (De Vis 1883)

Other Names: Mud Mullet, Popeye, Popeyed Mullet, Shark Mullet, Sharp-nosed Mullet, Skipjack Mullet, Skip-jack Mullet

A Popeye Mullet, Rhinomugil nasutus, in the shallows on the turning tide at Cardwell Queensland, April 2014. Source: coenobita / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A slate grey mullet becoming silvery on the sides and abdomen, with yellowish fins, an overhanging snout, and large eyes raised above the top of the head, enabling aerial vision. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Rhinomugil nasutus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/4469

Popeye Mullet, Rhinomugil nasutus (De Vis 1883)

More Info


Derby, Western Australia, to Mackenzie Island, the Fitzroy River, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in southern New Guinea. Inhabits muddy freshwaters, estuaries, mangroves and inshore waters, often in very shallow water. Popeye Mullet often swim in the shallows with their eyes poking out of the water, and can wriggle for short distances over mud banks. When threatened, they skip across the surface back to deeper water and out of danger.


Dorsal fin IV, 7; Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fin 12-13.
Body slender, head pointed, dorsal profile almost straight, dipping down before eye.Scales large, cycloid. Soft dorsal and anal fins scaly.

Species Citation

Mugil nasutus De Vis 1883, Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 7(4): 621. Type locality: Cardwell, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Popeye Mullet, Rhinomugil nasutus (De Vis 1883)


De Vis, C.W. 1883. Descriptions of two new Queensland fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 7(4): 620-621 See ref at BHL

Durand, J.-D., Chen, W.-J., Shen, K.-N.,  Fu, C. & Borsa, P. 2012. Genus-level taxonomic changes implied by the mitochondrial phylogeny of grey mullets (Teleostei: Mugilidae). Comptes Rendus Biologies 335 (10&11): 687–697 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crvi.2012.09.005

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

Harrison, I.J. & Senou, H. 1999. Order Mugiliformes. pp. 2069-2790 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790. 

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls. 

Ogilby, J.D. 1908. New or little known fishes in the Queensland Museum. Annals of the Queensland Museum 9(1): 3-41 (as Squalomugil nasutus) See ref at BHL

Schultz, L.P. 1946. A revision of the genera of mullets, fishes of the family Mugilidae, with descriptions of three new genera. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 96(3204): 377-395 figs 28-32 https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00963801.96-3204.377, open access

Thomson, J.M. 1954. The Mugilidae of Australia and adjacent seas. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 5(1): 70-131 figs 1-16 pls 1-2 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF9540070

Thomson, J.M. 1997. The Mugilidae of the world. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 41(3): 457-562 fig. 1 See ref at BHL

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37381016

Habitat:Estuaries, coastal inshore

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map