The Mugilidae family of ray-finned fish is composed of 80 species of mullets, classified among 17 separate genera. Within the space of this article, we shall focus on 8 of these, and on the physical sizes of the mullet species in each genus.
The 3 species of the genus Agonostomus are Agonostomus catalai or the Comoro mullet, Agonostomus monticola or the Mountain mullet, and Agonostomus telfairii or the Fairy mullet. The Comoro mullet thrives in tropical climate and is found in the African waters of Comoros and Madagascar. It has a maximum length of 20.0 centimeters. The Mountain mullet lives in the subtropical climes of North-South America, and have a maximum length of 36.0 cm. The Fairy mullet is another tropical species found in Africa, particularly in Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion. Its maximum size is 75.0 cm.
Aldrichetta forsteri, the Yellow-eye mullet, is the lone species of the genus Aldrichetta. Found along southern Australia, New Zealand and the Chatham Islands, it is measured at about 20-40 cm. Except for its relatively smaller size and more pointed snout, the Yellow-eye mullet is almost similar to the Flathead mullet, or Mugil cephalus of the genus Mugil. Located in subtropical and coastal tropical waters all over the world, it has an average length of 30-75 cm (12-30 inches). Another species of the Mugil genus, the Stripped mullet, lives in the waters of Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Hawaii, Mexico and Cuba. It can achieve a maximum length of roughly 120 cm and a maximum weight of around 8,000 grams.
The genus Cestraeus consists of the tropical species Cestraeus goldiei (Goldie river mullet), Cestraeus plicatilis (Lobed river mullet) and Cestraeus oxyrhyncus (Sharp-nosed river mullet). The Goldie river mullet is distributed across Asia and Oceania (from southern Philippines to New Caledonia), has an average length of 20.0 cm and a maximum length of 40.0 cm. The Lobed river mullet, spread throughout Celebes, Fiji, New Caledonia and New Hebrides, has a common length of 20.0 cm and a maximum length of 32.5 cm. The Sharp-nosed river mullet of Asia and Oceania has an average size of 20.0 cm and a maximum size of 39.0 cm.
Chaenomugil proboscideus (The Snouted mullet) is the single species in the genus Chaenomugil. Found in the tropical waters of the Eastern Central Pacific, its maximum length is 22.0 cm. The genus Chelon is comprised of Chelon bispinosus (Cape Verde mullet), Chelon haematocheilus (So-iny mullet) and Chelon labrosus (Thicklip grey mullet). The tropical Cape Verde mullet of the East Central Atlantic has a maximum size of 15.0 cm. The So-iny mullet of temperate Northwest Pacific measures 50.0 cm on average, but can grow up to 53.0 cm. The Thicklip grey mullet of subtropical Eastern Atlantic has a common size of 32.0 cm and a maximum of 75.0 cm.
The genus Crenimugil has 2 species, Crenimugil crenilabis (Fringelip mullet) and Crenimugil heterocheilos (Half fringelip mullet). Both tropical species found in the Indo-Pacific, the Fringelip mullet has a common length of 26.0 cm and a maximum length of 60.0 cm, while the Half fringelip mullet is typically 23.0 cm long but can grow as big as 50.0 cm. The genus Joturus has but one species, the subtropical Central American Joturus pichardi (Bobo mullet), which is 25.0 cm on average and can grow up to 61.0 cm.
Regarded as a significant food source throughout Mediterranean Europe ever since the time of the Roman Empire, the mullet continues to thrive up to the present day. Considering the size of the Mugilidae family, this should not at all be so surprising.