Common name: Grey Mullets, Mullets

The Mugiliformes contains a single family, the Mugilidae, or mullets - silvery pelagic fishes found mostly in coastal marine and estuarine areas of in all tropical and temperate seas. A few species enter freshwater. They have relatively slender bodies with two widely separated dorsal fins, a forked tail and pectoral fins high on the body. They live in schools and feed on algae and detritus from bottom sediments. Mullets are important food fishes throughout their range.

Relationships of the Mugilidae have been a source of controversy for a number of years. Traditionally, the family has been placed as a primitive percomorph. However, recent works (see Stiassny 1990, 1993; Johnson & Patterson 1993) suggest a relationship with the Atherinomorpha, but Parenti (1993) disputes that relationship. Here we follow Nelson (2006) and place them in a separate order.

Author: Dianne J. Bray

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Mullets, MUGILIFORMES in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/order/26

Order References

Hoese, D.F. & D.J. Bray. 2006. Mugiliformes, pp. 675-685. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Part 1.

Johnson, G.D. & Patterson, C. 1993. Percomorph phylogeny: a survey of acanthomorphs and a new proposal. Bulletin of Marine Science 52(1): 554–626.

Parenti, L.R. 1993. Relationships of atherinomorph fishes (Teleostei). Bulletin of Marine Science <52(1): 170–196.

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World John Wiley & SOns, New Jersey, 601 p.

Stiassny, M.L.J. 1990. Notes on the anatomy and relationships of the bedotiid fishes of Madagascar, with a taxonomic revision of the genus Rheocles (Atherinomorpha: Bedotiidae). American Museum Novitates 2979: 1–33.

Stiassny, M.L.J. 1993. What are grey mullets?. Bulletin of Marine Science 52(1): 197–219.