Striped Mullet: Mugil cephalus


  • 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


Striped mullet are commonly found inshore. 


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.

Additional Information

State Record: This species is not currently eligible for a state record.

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:
Freshwater catfish have many external taste buds on their barbels, so they use their sense of taste more than their sight to find prey.

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