Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory



<I>Myxus elongatus</I>

Myxus elongatus


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Compiler and date details

7 April 2015 - Douglass F. Hoese, Matthew M. Lockett & Dianne J. Bray

Douglass F. Hoese & Dianne J. Bray


The Mugilidae include about 18 genera and 80 species worldwide. Currently, ten genera and 21 species are recognised from Australia.

Mullets occur worldwide in tropical and warm temperate regions. They are typically found in estuaries, embayments and on coral reefs. They are filter feeders, with a specially adapted branchial mechanism (Harrison & Howes 1991).

The family Mugilidae has been studied extensively in Australia by Thomson (1954, 1967, 1997) and Ghasemzadeh (1998). The study by Harrison & Senou (1999), which treated most of the Australian species, is not followed here, and thus some species they record from Australia are not included in this treatment. Senou (2002) regarded Liza as a synonym of Chelon and presented information about some of the decisions made in Harrison & Senou (1999). Ghasemzadeh et al. (2004) reviewed the classification and relationships of the group. More recent molecular studies have produced very different and sometimes conflicting classifications (Heras et al 2009; Durand et al. 2012a,b; Whitfield et al. 2012). Tentatively we retain the previous classification pending further evaluation of the classification. Kottelat (2013) provided information on nomenclature for many of the species known from Australia.

Records of mugilids appearing in earlier literature are unreliable, particularly for species of Liza and Moolgarda. Even recent works do not fully agree on the taxonomy of species. In Harrison & Senou (1999), Liza macrolepis (Smith, 1846) is shown to range from the Northern Territory to southern Queensland. Because of its similarity to Liza subviridis, further studies are required to fully document the occurence of L. macrolepis in Australia. Harrison & Senou (1999) also recognised Liza ramsayi from Queensland as distinct from L. argentea, differing in that L. ramsayi has an extra anal ray. Until their work is published in a scientific journal, we cannot fully evaluate the validity of that species. They do not record Liza tade from the region. Possibly they consider the Pacific form to be L. planiceps, although they use the common name of tade mullet for this species. In respect of the two recent studies, Thomson (1997) did not examine recent collections from Australia, and it is unclear as to what material was examined by Harrison & Senou (1999). Because much of the material in collections in Australia has not been fully studied, we have relied primarily on identifications of Javad Ghasemzadeh, but acknowledge that additional species undoubtedly occur in Australia.


General References

Durand, D., Shen, K.-N., Chen, W.-J., Jamandre, B.W., Blel, H., Diop, K., Nirchio, M., Garcia de León, F.J., Whitfield, A.K., Chang, C.-W. & Borsa, P. 2012. Systematics of the grey mullets (Teleostei: Mugiliformes: Mugilidae): Molecular phylogenetic evidence challenges two centuries of morphology-based taxonomy. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 64(1): 73-92

Durand, J.-D., Chen, W.-J., Shen, K.-N., Fu, C. & Borsa, P. 2012. Genus-level taxonomic changes implied by the mitochondrial phylogeny of grey mullets (Teleostei: Mugilidae). Comptes Rendus Biologies [from 2002, formerly Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences - Series III - Sciences de la Vie] 335: 687-697

Ghasemzadeh, J. 1998. Phylogeny and systematics of Indo-Pacific mullets (Teleostei: Mugilidae) with special reference to the mullets of Australia. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Macquarie University. 397 pp.

Ghasemzadeh, J., Ivantsoff, W. & Aarn 2004. Historical overview of mugilid systematics, with description of Paramugil (Teleostei: Mugiliformes: Mugilidae), new genus. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 8(1): 9-22

Harrison, I.J. & Howes, G.J. 1991. The pharyngobranchial organ of mugilid fishes; its structure, variability, ontogeny, possible function and taxonomic utility. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 57(2): 111-132

Harrison, I.J. & Senou, H. 1999. Order Mugiliformes. pp. 2069-2790 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

Heras, S., Roldán, M.I. & Castro, M.G. 2009. Molecular phylogeny of Mugilidae fishes revised. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 19(2): 217–231

Kottelat, M. 2013. The fishes of the inland waters of southeast Asia: a catalogue and core bibliography of the fishes known to occur in freshwaters, mangroves and estuaries. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 27: 1-663

Senou, H. 2002. Mugilidae. pp. 1510-1513 in Nakabo, T. (ed.). Fishes of Japan with pictorial keys to the species. English edition. Tokyo : Toikai University Press pp. 867-1749.

Thomson, J.M. 1954. The Mugilidae of Australia and adjacent seas. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 5(1): 70-131 figs 1-16 pls 1-2

Thomson, J.M. 1967. New species and new records of fish from Queensland. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 92(1): 145-150 figs 1-2

Thomson, J.M. 1997. The Mugilidae of the world. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 41(3): 457-562 fig. 1

Whitfield, A.K., Panfili, J. & Durand, J.-D. 2012. A global review of the cosmopolitan flathead mullet Mugil cephalus Linnaeus 1758 (Teleostei: Mugilidae), with emphasis on the biology, genetics, ecology and fisheries aspects of the apparent species complex. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 22: 641-681


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
13-Apr-2015 MUGILIFORMES 31-Jul-2014 MODIFIED Dr Doug Hoese
12-Feb-2010 (import)