MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

The striped red mullet, Mullus surmuletus, is a member of the goatfish family, members of which are easily recognised by the pair of long chin barbels under the jaw. It has a moderately elongate body up to 40 cm in length. It has two well-separated dorsal fins and a forked tail. The first dorsal fin has dark markings. The body of Mullus surmuletus has longitudinal red and brown stripes.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Its distribution is predominantly southern orientated, and it is most often found of the south and south-west coasts of the British Isles and southern Ireland but migrates through the English Channel into the North Sea.

Global distribution

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Habitat

The red mullet is a demersal species. It is found at depths of 3-90 m on sandy or muddy bottoms but also at times on rocky ground.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Pair of chin barbels, longer than the pectoral fin.
  • Up to 40 cm in length.
  • Two distinct dorsal fins.
  • First dorsal fin has dark markings.
  • Longitudinal red and brown stripes run the length of the body.
  • Head is less steep than red mullet Mullus barbatus.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2008-02-18

  2. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  3. Muus, B.J. & Nielsen, J.G. 1999. Sea Fish. Scandinavian Fishing Year Book. Hedehusene: Denmark

  4. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  5. Quero, J-C., Hureau, J-C., Karrer, C., Post, A. & Saldanha, L. (eds.), 1990. Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA) JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris.

  6. Wheeler, A., 1978. Key to the fishes of northern Europe. Frederick Warne, London.

  7. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I, II & III. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Mullus surmuletus Striped red mullet. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/81

Last Updated: 02/09/2008