Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Xenomugil thoburni, Orange-eye mullet, Thoburn's mullet

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

upper 1/3 iris orange
mouth an inverted V
lower lip thick, folded out
pectoral not reaching D1 origin
A: III, 9
lateral scales 45-47
D2 & A: completely scaled

Xenomugil thoburni (Jordan & Starks in Jordan & Evermann, 1896)

Orange-eye mullet, Thoburn's mullet

Body elongate, compressed; space between eyes convex; eye with a transparent fatty eyelid covering most of it; mouth oblique, small (rear end of upper jaw reaching level of front rim of eye), opens at front,  folded, shaped like an inverted V; top lip thick, highly protrusible; lower lip thick, folded down and forwards; no knob at front of lower lips; top jaw with 2 rows of teeth, an outer row of larger simple teeth with short bases and, in adults, minute simple teeth scattered between the main teeth; teeth on lower out-turned lip of adults protruding outwards and under ; two short, widely spaced dorsal fins, IV + I, 7; anal fin III, 9 ( juvenile 10); pectorals high on body, 1st  ray hard, short, not reaching under origin of first dorsal fin; pelvics inserted behind pectoral base; tail forked; scales moderate, rough on body of adults; lateral scales 45-47; second dorsal and anal fins completely scaled; no lateral line.

Bluish on back, silvery on sides, and white below; upper 1/3 of iris bright golden orange; rear of opercle faintly orange; dark stripes on side corresponding with scale rows; a dusky bar across base of pectoral fin, which is yellowish.

Size: reaches at least 60 cm.

Habitat: shallow bays and mangroves.

Depth: 0-10 m?

The SE corner of the Gulf of California to Peru and the Galapagos and Cocos Islands.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Bottom + water column
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Bottom
  • Near Bottom
  • Estuary
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Mangrove
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Reef and soft bottom
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Herbivore
  • Planktivore
  • No Data
  • Detritivore
  • Detritus
  • Zooplankton
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 60
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10