Mugil margaritae

Common Name

Margarita Mullet

Year Described

Menezes, Nirchio, de Oliveira, & Siccha-Ramirez, 2015


Dorsal Fin: IV, 9
Anal Fin: III, 9
Pectoral Fin: II, 13-15
Lateral Scale Rows: 40-44
Transverse Scales: 13-15
Circumpeduncular Scales: 17-18
Gill Rakers: 48-85 (lower limb of first arch)

Body elongate; cylindrical anteriorly and becoming more compressed posteriorly. Snout narrowly blunt. Top of head flat. Eye diameter equal to snout length. Subterminal mouth reaches anterior margin of orbit. Teeth with slightly curved tips. Adipose eyelid present (absent in juveniles). Spiny dorsal fin situated at mid-point of body. Anal fin inserted slightly forward of or even with second dorsal fin. Dorsal and anal fins densely covered with small scales. Pectoral fin high on side and not reaching dorsal fin origin. Tail forked. Body scales with minute spines.


Body whitish grading to darker dorsally. Center of scales on mid-body with dark centers forming faint stripes on body. Fins generally pale with a sprinkling of melanophores. Tail margin dark. A large blotch on the pectoral base and axil. Eye color unknown.


Maximum size to 26.5cm SL


Found inshore and in estuarine waters.


Known from off Venezuela.


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

Menezes, N.A., M. Nirchio, C. Oliveira & R. Siccharamirez. 2015. Taxonomic review of the species of Mugil (Teleostei: Perciformes: Mugilidae) from the Atlantic South Caribbean and South America, with integration of morphological, cytogenetic and molecular data. Zootaxa 3918 (1): 1-38.

Siccha-Ramirez, Z.R., N.A. Menezes, M. Nirchio, F. Foresti & C. Oliveira 2014. Molecular identification of mullet species of the Atlantic South Caribbean and South America and the phylogeographic analysis of Mugil liza. Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture, 22 (11), 86–96.

Other Notes

Several recent studies (i.e. Harrison et al., 2007, Durand et al., 2012; Siccha-Ramirez et al., 2014; Menezes et al., 2015) have confirmed the presence and identity of three lineages of “white mullets” from the western Atlantic. Mugil curema (type locality: Brazil) is widespread in the western Atlantic, M. rubrioculus is found from Panama to N. Brazil, and M. margaritae off Venezuela. Mugil margaritae can be distinguished from M. rubrioculus and M. curema by number of lateral scale rows (40-44 vs. 35-39) (Menezes et al., 2015), transverse scale rows (13-15 vs 12-13), as well as using molecular data.