Mullet (fish)
Overview
 
There are other fishes called 'mullets', notably the red mullet
Red mullet
The red mullets or surmullets are two species of goatfish, Mullus barbatus and Mullus surmuletus, found in the Mediterranean Sea, east North Atlantic Ocean, and the Black Sea. Both "red mullet" and "surmullet" can also refer to the Mullidae in general.Though they can easily be distinguished—M...

s of the Mullidae family.


The mullets or grey mullets are a family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 (Mugilidae) and order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 of ray-finned fish found worldwide in coastal temperate and tropical waters, and in some species in fresh water. Mullets have served as an important source of food in Mediterranean Europe since Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 times.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
There are other fishes called 'mullets', notably the red mullet
Red mullet
The red mullets or surmullets are two species of goatfish, Mullus barbatus and Mullus surmuletus, found in the Mediterranean Sea, east North Atlantic Ocean, and the Black Sea. Both "red mullet" and "surmullet" can also refer to the Mullidae in general.Though they can easily be distinguished—M...

s of the Mullidae family.


The mullets or grey mullets are a family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 (Mugilidae) and order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 of ray-finned fish found worldwide in coastal temperate and tropical waters, and in some species in fresh water. Mullets have served as an important source of food in Mediterranean Europe since Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 times. The family includes about 80 species in 17 genera, although half of the species are in just two genera (Liza and Mugil).

Mullets are distinguished by the presence of two separate dorsal fin
Dorsal fin
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

s, small triangular mouths, and the absence of a lateral line
Lateral line
The lateral line is a sense organ in aquatic organisms , used to detect movement and vibration in the surrounding water. Lateral lines are usually visible as faint lines running lengthwise down each side, from the vicinity of the gill covers to the base of the tail...

 organ. They feed on detritus
Detritus
Detritus is a biological term used to describe dead or waste organic material.Detritus may also refer to:* Detritus , a geological term used to describe the particles of rock produced by weathering...

, and most species have unusually muscular stomachs and a complex pharynx
Pharynx
The human pharynx is the part of the throat situated immediately posterior to the mouth and nasal cavity, and anterior to the esophagus and larynx. The human pharynx is conventionally divided into three sections: the nasopharynx , the oropharynx , and the laryngopharynx...

 to help in digestion.

Classification and naming

Taxonomically, the family is usually treated as the sole member of the order Mugiliformes, but as Nelson says, "there has been much disagreement concerning the relationships" of this family. The presence of fin spines clearly indicates membership in the superorder Acanthopterygii, and in the 1960s they were classed as primitive perciforms, while others have grouped them in Atheriniformes
Atheriniformes
Atheriniformes, also known as the silversides, is an order of ray-finned fish that includes the Old World silversides and several less-familiar families, including the unusual Phallostethidae...

. FishBase
FishBase
FishBase is a comprehensive database of information about fish species . It is the largest and most extensively accessed online database on adult finfish on the web...

 follows William A. Gosline in placing the family in the Perciformes.

In North America, "mullet" by itself usually refers to Mugilidae. In Europe, the word "mullet" is usually qualified, the "grey mullets" being Mugilidae and the "red mullets" or "surmullets" being Mullidae, notably members of the genus Mullus
Mullus
Mullus known as Goatfishes or Mullets is subtropical marine genus of perciform fish of the family Mullidae. Occurs mainly in the Southwest Atlantic near the South American coast and in the Eastern Atlantic including the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. These fish are bottom dwelling over sands and...

, the red mullet
Red mullet
The red mullets or surmullets are two species of goatfish, Mullus barbatus and Mullus surmuletus, found in the Mediterranean Sea, east North Atlantic Ocean, and the Black Sea. Both "red mullet" and "surmullet" can also refer to the Mullidae in general.Though they can easily be distinguished—M...

s. Outside Europe, the Mullidae are often called "goatfish". Fish with common names including the word "mullet" may be a member of one family or the other, or even unrelated such as the freshwater white sucker
White Sucker
The White Sucker is a bottom-feeding freshwater fish inhabiting North America from Labrador in the north to Georgia and New Mexico in the south. It is a long, round-bodied fish with a dark green, grey, copper, brown, or black back and sides and a light underbelly. When fullgrown, it is between 12...

 (Catostomus commersonii).

Genera

  • Agonostomus
    Agonostomus
    Agonostomus is one of the 17 genera of the family Mugilidae . Altogether, these genera have about 80 species of ray-finned fish...

    (3 species)
  • Aldrichetta (monotypic
    Monotypic
    In biology, a monotypic taxon is a taxonomic group with only one biological type. The term's usage differs slightly between botany and zoology. The term monotypic has a separate use in conservation biology, monotypic habitat, regarding species habitat conversion eliminating biodiversity and...

     genus)
  • Cestraeus
    Cestraeus
    Cestraeus is one of the 17 genera of the family Mugilidae . Altogether, these genera have about 80 species of ray-finned fish...

    (3 species)
  • Chaenomugil
    Chaenomugil
    Chaenomugil is one of 17 genera containing all together about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet...

    (monotypic genus)
  • Chelon
    Chelon
    Chelon is one of the 17 genera of the family Mugilidae . Altogether, these genera have about 80 species of ray-finned fish. The genus Chelon itself contains three species.- Species :...

    (3 species)
  • Crenimugil
    Crenimugil
    Crenimugil is one of the 17 genera of the family Mugilidae . Altogether, these genera have about 80 species of ray-finned fish...

    (2 species)
  • Joturus
    Joturus
    Joturus pichardi, also known as the bobo mullet, is a species of fish of the mullet family Mugilidae. It is the only species in the genus Joturus, one of 17 mullet genera containing altogether about 80 species of ray-finned fish. It occurs in rivers in much of the Gulf of Mexico basin....

    (monotypic genus)
  • Liza
    Liza (genus)
    Liza is the largest genus of the 17 in the family Mugilidae. The genus Liza contains 24 species.Note: The mullet species with common name Liza is in factMugil liza, thus in the genus Mugil.-Taxonomy:...

    (24 species)
  • Moolgarda
    Moolgarda
    Moolgarda is one genus among 17 genera containing all together about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet...

    (monotypic genus)
  • Mugil
    Mugil
    Mugil is one genus among 17 genera containing all together about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet...

    (17 species)
  • Myxus
    Myxus
    Myxus is one genus among 17 genera containing all together about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet...

    (4 species)
  • Neomyxus
    Neomyxus
    Neomyxus is one genus among 17 genera containing altogether about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet...

    (2 species)
  • Oedalechilus
    Oedalechilus
    Oedalechilus is one genus among 17 genera containing all together about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet...

    (2 species)
  • Rhinomugil
    Rhinomugil
    Rhinomugil is one genus among 17 genera containing all together about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet...

    (2 species)
  • Sicamugil
    Sicamugil
    Sicamugil is one genus among 17 genera containing all together about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet.The genus Sicamugil contains two species.- Species :*Burmese mullet Sicamugil hamiltonii...

    (2 species)
  • Valamugil
    Valamugil
    Valamugil is one genus among 17 genera containing altogether about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet...

    (9 species)
  • Xenomugil
    Xenomugil
    Xenomugil is one genus among 17 genera containing altogether about 80 species of ray-finned fish of the family Mugilidae commonly known as mullet...

    (monotypic genus)


External links

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