> Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes
tiny plump fish is commonly seen on many of our shores. Often in
small groups of 5 or so, in rock pools or pools in sandy areas.
They are probably juvenile mullets. Adults are often seen in schools
at high tide from boardwalks and jetties.
What are mullets? Mullets belong
to Family Mugilidae. According to FishBase: the family has 17 genera
and 72 species. They are found in tropical and temperate seas. Species
can look very similar and are hard to tell apart in the field. Some
can reach 90cm long.
Features: On the intertidal,
small juveniles 1-4cm, can be seen. Body long and cylindrical with
a broad flat head and a small mouth. Two dorsal fins, wide apart
from one another. Colour generally silvery, some with stripes.
What do they eat? They feed
by filtering large quantities of bottom detritus, to eat microscopic
algae and other tiny organisms. They may have only tiny teeth or
no teeth at all. Most are found in brackish coastal waters, in some,
the juveniles are found in freshwater.
Human uses: They are among the
important fishes harvested for food with a wide variety of nets.
Adults seen from
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Feb 11
on Singapore shores
Mugilidae recorded for Singapore
Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity
*Lim, Kelvin K. P. & Jeffrey K. Y. Low, 1998. A Guide to the Common
Marine Fishes of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre.
** from WORMS
Liza vaigiensis (Squaretail mullet)
Mugil caeruleomaculatus=**Moolgarda seheli
Mugil dussumieri=**Liza subviridis
Mugil longimanus=**Valamugil cunnesius
Valamugil seheli=**Moolgarda seheli