Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; reef-associated; catadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 300 m, usually 0 - 20 m. Subtropical, preferred ?; 43°N - 34°S, 114°W - 16°E
Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, but uncommon north of Cape Cod (Harrison, pers. Comm.) to Argentina (Ref. 74796). Eastern Atlantic: Senegal River outlet southwards to the Congo River outlet (Democratic Republic of the Congo)(Ref. 57400). Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California to Chile (Ref. 9321).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 19.7, range 21 - ? cm
Max length : 90.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9321); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9321); max. published weight: 680.00 g (Ref. 40637)
(total): 4 - 5;
soft rays: 9 - 10. Diagnosis: body stout, rounded in cross-section; head broad; inter-orbital space flat; a well developed adipose eyelid covering most of pupil; upper lip simple, thicker and deeper than in most Mugil species, armed with 2-3 rows, teeth in outer row curved, monocuspid and widely spaced; a vertical line from hind end of upper jaw positioned midway between posterior nostril and anterior eye margin; maxillary pad not visible below corner of mouth when closed; origin of 1st dorsal fin equidistant from snout tip and caudal-fin base; pectoral axillary process well developed (30-37% of pectoral-fin length); dorsal and anal fins entirely (and more or less densely) covered with scales; 11-12 scale rows between origins of first dorsal and pelvic fins (Ref. 57400).
Inhabit sandy coasts and littoral pools but also occurs in muddy bottoms of brackish lagoons and estuaries. Sometimes penetrate rivers. May also be found on coral reefs (Ref. 9710). Juveniles are common in coastal waters and are known to find their way to estuaries and coastal lagoons. Growth in juveniles is moderate (30-40 cm in 4 years). Adults form schools (Ref. 9321). Feed on microscopic or filamentous algae and small juveniles of planktonic organisms (Ref. 9626). Reproduction occurs between March and August. Spawn several million eggs provided with a notable yolk (Ref. 35237). Oviparous, eggs are pelagic and non-adhesive (Ref. 205). An important foodfish, it is marketed fresh and salted (Ref. 9321).
Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; bait: occasionally
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01175 (0.00956 - 0.01444), b=2.97 (2.93 - 3.01), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2-3; Fec=>50,000).
Prior r = 0.45, 2 SD range = 0.23 - 0.89, log(r) = -0.8, SD log(r) = 0.34, Based on: 1 K, 6 tgen, 4 Fec records
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (59 of 100) .