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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Mugil cephalus Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: head broad, its width more than width of mouth cleft; adipose eyelid well developed, covering most of pupil; upper lip thin, without papillae, labial teeth of upper jaw small, straight, dense, usually in several rows; mouth cleft ending below posterior nostril. Pectoral axillary scale about one-third length of fin; 8 soft anal finrays. Pyloric caeca 2. Scales in lateral series 36-45. Colour: back blue/green, flanks and belly pale or silvery; scales on back and flanks usually streaked to form longitudinal stripes; dark pectoral axillary blotch. Size: to 1OO cm SL.

Habitat: pelagic, usually inshore, entering estuaries and lagoons. Food: juveniles on invertebrates, adults mostly on detritus, bottom algae and small organisms, occasionally on plankton. Reproduction: July-October. In some countries these fishes are cultured in ponds or grown in enclosures.

Distribution: Atlantic from Bay of Biscay southward, also whole of Mediterranean and Black Sea. Elsewhere, cosmopolitan in tropical and subtropical seas; introduced into Caspian Sea.

Subspecies (not recognized by all authors)

Mugil cephalus cephalus: 39-45 scales in lateral series; anal fin grey; not south of Portugal. Clofnam 181. 1. 1. 1.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. De Buen, 1932: 8, fig. 5 | Sanzo, 1936: 3, pl. 1 (fig. 1-12) | Vialli, 1937: 435 pl. XXXIV (fig. 17-19), fig. 280-281 | Perlmutteretal., 1957: fig. 3A-F | Morovic, 1957: fig. on p. 9 (after Sanzo & Vialli) | Burdak, 1957 (post-larval development); [Arnold & Thompson, 1958: 130 (offshore spawning in Gulf of Mexico)]
Otoliths (sagitta). Chaine & Duvergier, 1928b: 153, fig. 1 | Frost, 1929a: 120 | Chaine, 1938: 182, pl. XIV | Bauzá-Rullán, 1960: 54, pl. V (fig. 19-21) | (Hatai & Kotara, 1963: 25, pl. VI (fig. 17-18); 1965: 69, pl. XV (fig. 15-16, 27-28)) | Weiler, 1968: 117 (bibliography).

Mugil cephalus ashanteensis Bleeker, 1863: 36-39 scales in lateral series; anal fin yellow; Morocco and West African coasts. Clofnam 181.1.1.2.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus)