Taxonomy

Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Actinopterygii
Order : Mugiliformes
Genus : Mugil
Species : cephalus
Author : Linnaeus, 1758

Description

Size: 35-100 cm.
Color: Olive-green on back, silvery on sides, shading to white below; 6 or 7 indistinct brown bands down flanks, a dark purple at base of pectoral fin; margins of dorsal and caudal fins dusky.
Body rather robust; head broad and much flattened on top, its length 27 to 29% of standard length. Well developed adipose eyelid. Lips thin, lower lip with a high symphysial knob. Teeth labial, fine, 1 to 6 rows in upper lip, 1 to 4 rows in lower lip, outer row unicuspid, inner rows usually bicuspid. Preorbital slender, filling only half the space between lip and eye, not notched. Two widely separated dorsal fins; first fin with 4 spines, second fin with 1 spine and 8 soft rays. Anal spines 3 in adults; anal soft rays 8 in adults, 9 in larvae. Pectoral fins short (when folded forward does not reach eye), with long axillary scale. Caudal fin forked. Scales in lateral series 38 to 42. Mainly diurnal, feeds on zooplankton, benthic organisms and detritus. Also takes diatom algae and small invertebrates. Feeds occasionally at the surface.
Dioecious, external fertilization, non guarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Females spawn 0.8 to 2.6 million eggs. Sexually mature at 3 to 4 years. Spawns in the sea from July to October, scatters 5- 7 million eggs into the open water/ substratum.