Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Osteichthyes
Order Mugiliformes
Family Mugilidae
Genus Mugil
Species cephalus
Classification Linnaeus, 1758
Common name flathead mullet
Size 50 centimetres, sometimes up to 70 centimetres
Male weight 8 kilograms
Female weight 8 kilograms

Geographic Range it is found in the Mediterranean, in Black Sea, along the Atlantic, African and European coasts.
Physical Characteristics elongated body, with two short dorsal fins, the first of which has four spines rays, wide jugular space; very visible adipose eyelids; very big cycloid scales on the body, small cycloid scales on the head; no lateral line; small mouth with small or even no teeth, which may sometimes be found on the maxillas; gill rakers are very numerous (between 60-140); pectoral fins are inserted at a high level; bluish almost black back and silver flanks.
Behaviour it is euryhaline and can tolerate big changes in the salinity; moreover, it can tolerate well very different environmental conditions, such as pollution or water lacking of oxygen. It is gregarious; it prefers bottoms rich in vegetation.
Habitat gregarious species of mild waters; during spring it migrates towards brackish waters, lagoons or soft bottom or estuaries rich in vegetation. The walls of the stomach are muscular and the stomach can grind the swallowed material.
Food habits it feeds on plankton organisms, molluscs and vegetable materials, including detritus. The larger food quantity available in soft water environments causes a faster body increase.
Reproduction in our seas sexual maturity is reached at the age of three years and reproduction takes place in the sea between July and September; eggs are small (0.75 millimeters) and very numerous; they are provided with an oil drop that prevents flathead mullet from sinking. The larva at the hatching (2.5 millimeters) is rich in black and yellow pigment and grows rapidly. The adipose eyelid is very visible in the young individuals (3-5 centimeters). They spend the growth period in the lagoon or coastal areas.
Status in the lagoon it is found in the water courses along the lagoon (Canale Osellino, Canale Lusone, Sile, Dese, Zero, Adige, Garzone, Bacchiglione rivers), at the mouth of the Piave, in Falconiera lagoon, in the fish farms, in the lagoon between Canale Malamocco-Marghera and the Giudecca, in the Teneri lakes.

References CNR Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi - Sezione di Idrobiologia ed Ecologia delle Acque Interne - Verbania Pallanza
La fauna ittica dell provincia di Venezia - E. Marconato, G. Maio, S. Salviati - Assessorato alla Caccia, Pesca e Polizia Provinciale della Provincia di Venezia
Guida alla natura nella Laguna di Venezia - di Giampaolo Rallo - Franco Muzzio editore
Web References http://www.iii.to.cnr.it/
Source of the photo http://www.entetutelapesca.it/

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