Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System
Updated: 06/12/2008  

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Species Information          
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Perciformes  -  Mugilidae  -  Mugil  -  Mugil curema

Mugil curema

All Families(148) All Genera(504) All Species(1287)
  D2 & A: completely scaled
lateral scales 35-40

top teeth in 2 well separated rows
pectoral not reaching  D origin
A: III, 9


Mugil curema Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1836

White mullet

Moderately elongate, robust body; head deeper than wide at rear edge of operculum, flattened above; eyes mostly covered by a well developed transparent fatty eyelid; mouth small (rear end of upper jaw reaching to between rear nostril and level of front rim of eye), opens at front, lips thin, with knob at front of lower lips; outer (primary) teeth in jaws tiny but visible with naked eye as a fine fringe, distinctly curved, those an upper jaw with wide tips; upper jaw with broad toothless gap between outer (primary) row and inner (secondary) row of teeth; less than 30 teeth per side of top and bottom jaws; two short, widely spaced dorsal fins, IV + I, 8;  anal fin III, 9 ( juvenile 10), height of fin 10-15% of SL; pectorals high on body, 1st  ray hard,  fin not reaching level of origin of first dorsal fin; pelvics inserted behind pectoral base; forked tail; scales moderate to large, rough on body of adults;  scales in lateral series 35-40; pectoral axillary scale 5-8% of SL; second dorsal and anal fins completely scaled; no lateral line.

Olive to bluish on back, silvery on sides, and white below;  a small black blotch at upper base of pectoral fin;  iris white; anal and pelvic fins yellowish, tail may be yellowish at base, with dark border.

Size: to 91 cm.

Habitat: occurs in mangrove estuaries and brackish lagoons, also near the surface in clear water.

Depth: 0-25 m.

Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Americas, and west Africa, mainly in tropical seas; in the eastern Pacific from southern California to the Gulf of California to Chile, plus the Revillagigedos, Galapagos and Cocos.

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