Red Mullet (Mullus Surmuletus)

Latin name: Mullus surmuletus
Common name: Red mullet
Also known as: Striped (red) mullet
In other languages: E: Salmonete de fango, F: Rouget-barbet de vase, D: Rotbarbe
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Mullidae
Genus: Mullus

Distribution: Throughout the Mediterranean; Atlantic.

Habitat: From 10 metres down to the limits of the continental shelf over rocks and sandy grounds.

Life Span: Up to 10 years.

Reproduction: Breeds May to July, eggs are planktonic, sexually mature at the age of two years.

Behaviour: This demersal species can be found in small shoals though more adult species are more solitary. It finds its prey in soft seabed substrata with the help of two sensory barbels that are located below the jaw.

Diet: Small benthic invertebrates and fish.

Size: Common: 10 - 20cm, maximum: 30cm.


Shape: The tell-tale point between the two existing sort of mullus is the shape of the head. This species is more blunt with a steep forehead and is found more often in deeper water. The second listed species has a gentler slope to its forehead and is more common in shallower waters.

Colour: Overall red colouring that varies throughout the solar cycle.

Did you know? The red mullet changes its colour in situations of stress and with the times of the day.