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Striped Mullet: Mugil cephalus

Appearance:

  • Color bluish-gray or green above, shading to silver on sides with distinct horizontal black barrings, white below
  • Fins lightly scaled at base, unscaled above
  • Blunt nose and small mouth
  • Second dorsal fin originates behind that of the dorsal fin

Habitat:

Striped mullet are commonly found inshore. 

Behavior:

Adult striped mullet migrate offshore in large schools to spawn.  Juveniles migrate inshore at about 1 inch in size, moving far up tidal creeks.  These fish are frequent leapers and feed on algae, detritus and other tiny marine forms.

State Record:

This species is not currently eligible for a state record.

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Additional Information:

Striped mullet are common to 3 pounds but in aquariums are known to reach 12 pounds or more.

Striped mullet are similar in appearance to the white mullet, M. curema; fantail mullet, M. gyrans.  Both white and fantail mullet have black blotch at base of pectoral fin, which is lacking in the striped mullet.


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles



FWC Facts:
The organism that causes red tide in Florida, Karenia brevis, owes its name to a state researcher of harmful algal blooms, Dr. Karen Steidinger.

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