Flathead grey mullet Mugil cephalus

  • Fringing Reef
  • Flathead grey mullet
  • Fauna
  • Lagoon coral patches


Mugil cephalus, of the order of Mugiliformes (Mullets) and Mugilidae is commonly known as the Flathead Mullet, Black Mullet, Black True Mullet, Bright Mullet, Bully Mullet, Common Grey Mullet, and Common Mullet amongst others. It has a cylindrical stout body with a broad and flattened head. The back is of a blue-green colour. The flanks and belly are pale or silver coloured. There is a dark pectoral axillary blotch[1]. It has a total of 5 dorsal spines, 7 to 9 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 8 to 9 anal soft rays[2]..


[1] ‘FAO Fisheries & Aquaculture - Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme - Mugil Cephalus (Linnaeus, 1758)’.

[2] ‘Mugil Cephalus Summary Page’.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present across the tropical and subtropical zones. The recorded maximum depth range is 330m, but it is usually found in inshore. This species feeds during the day. Its diet consists of zooplankton and dead material. Adults form large groups where there are sandy or muddy bottoms or dense vegetation. They migrate off shore to spawn in large groups.


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red list, this species is categorised as being of ‘Least Concern’ as it is common and widespread with no major threats. It is collected for consumption[1].


[1] ‘Mugil Cephalus’.

Did you know?

This species can reach a maximum recorded length of 100 cm and age of 16 years old.