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Chelon auratus  (Risso, 1810)

Golden grey mullet
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Chelon auratus
Picture by Hernández-González, C.L.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Mugiliformes (Mullets) > Mugilidae (Mullets)
Etymology: Chelon: Greek, chelone = turtle (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; catadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 10 - ? m (Ref. 7399).   Temperate; 64°N - 20°N, 26°W - 42°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Atlantic: Scotland to Cape Verde; in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Also in coastal waters from southern Norway to Morocco, rare off Mauritania (Ref. 3573). Records from the lagoon of Accra are probably misidentifications.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 34.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 59.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2058); common length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7399)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 5; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7-9; Anal spines: 3. Longer pectoral fins, lack of black spot at the pectoral fin base. Golden spot present in gill cover (Ref. 35388).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults are neritic usually in schools, entering lagoons and lower estuaries (Ref. 7399); rarely entering freshwater (Ref. 3573, 59043). Juveniles move to coastal lagoons and estuaries in winter and especially in spring (Ref. 59043). They feed on small benthic organisms, detritus, and occasionally on insects and plankton (Ref. 2804). Juveniles feed only on zooplankton (Ref. 59043). Reproduction takes place in the sea, from July to November. Oviparous, eggs are pelagic and non-adhesive (Ref. 205). Minimum size allowed for fishing is 20 cm. The quality of the flesh is variable (Ref. 30578).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Juveniles move to coastal lagoons and estuaries in winter and especially in spring (Ref. 59043).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Harrison, Ian | Collaborators

Thomson, J.M., 1986. Mugilidae. p. 344-349. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels, MRAC; Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 3573)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 9.7 - 20.7, mean 11.9 (based on 344 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5005   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00955 (0.00755 - 0.01208), b=2.97 (2.93 - 3.01), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.8   ±0.33 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.14-0.34; tm=3-4; Fec>10,000).
Prior r = 0.6, 2 SD range = 0.36 - 1.00, log(r) = -0.51, SD log(r) = 0.25, Based on: 1 M, 30 K, 2 tgen, 3 tmax, 2 Fec records
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (35 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.