Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Agonostomus monticola, Mountain mullet

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yellow + dark scale edges
juvenile - dark spot: tail and pectoral base
mouth opens at front
both lips thick
teeth strong, fixed on jaws



Agonostomus monticola (Bancroft in Griffith & Smith, 1834)

Mountain mullet

Body robust; convex between eyes; eyes without transparent fatty eyelid; mouth small, opens at front; top and bottom lips thick; without fleshy knob at tip of lower lips; teeth strong, imbedded in jawbones, in bands inside lips, those on inner row on top jaw with 2-3 points, those on lower jaw with 1-2 points; tooth bands on lower jaws almost meet in center; teeth on sides (and front) of roof of mouth; two short, widely spaced dorsal fins, IV slender spines + 9 rays; anal fin II, 10; pectorals high on body, 1st ray hard; pelvics inserted behind pectoral base; weakly forked tail; scales very rough,  40 (38-45) lateral scales; second dorsal and anal fins only with a few small scales on front base; no lateral line.

Olive above, white below, dark scale edges form crisscross lines on upper body; fins yellowish; upper 1/3 of pectoral base dark; juveniles with dark blotch on pectoral base and dark spot on base of tail fin.

Size: to 36 cm.

Habitat: adults in rivers, juveniles at river mouths; adults entering sea to spawn, where larvae develop.

Depth: 0-5 m.

A new world, tropical to warm temperate species; in our region it occurs from the Gulf of California to northern Peru, the Galapagos and Cocos Islands.

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  • Marine
  • Freshwater
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Freshwater
  • Estuary
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Rocks
  • Water column
  • Beach
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Herbivore
  • Detritivore
  • No Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • No Data
  • Detritus
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • New world (East Pacific + West Atlantic)
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 36
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5