Image: Wallis Lake 'Fan-tailed' Sea Mullet

Wallis Lake 'Fan-tailed' Sea Mullet

A 'fan-tailed' Sea Mullet caught in a commercial meshing net on Wallis Lake in 1999.

Martin Angle
© Industries NSW


Martin wrote:

I wish to advise you that Wallis Lake has 'turned-up' another species which we have been unable to identify.

Unfortunately, I have only two poor photographs of the specimen, which was taken in a commercial meshing net on Wallis Lake approximately twelve months ago.

The fish has all the features of a mullet in body size and shape, with the obvious exception of the 'flared' nature of the caudal, dorsal and ventral fins. All attempts to identify the specimen through our library have been exhausted. It has been suggested that the fish may be a mutant form of mullet.

Any information you have about the identity would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to your reply.

Martin Angle
District Fisheries Officer
Wallis Lake Office

Mr J. Gasemzadeh conducted research in the Australian Museum Fish Section on mullets during 1998. We contacted him about this enquiry, and he responded as follows.

"I looked at the image of the mullet and it is very interesting. I imagine that it is most probably a Sea Mullet Mugil cephalus, although the image is not clear enough to count the scales and the amount of adipose eyefold development, or it might be a Flat-tail Mullet.

As you know this sort of fin development (fairy fins) and other deformities are quite often observed in different species of fishes. I also observed another case exactly similar to this one. That was a photo of a Sea Mullet caught somewhere in Brazil. This fish had pronounced fin development especially the caudal fin."

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Tags fishes, ichthyology, Mugil cephalus, fan-tailed, Sea Mullet, Wallis Lake, Martin Angle, Mugilidae,