Common Name: Red mullet
Scientific Names: Mullus barbatus and Mullus surmuletus.
Description: Fish can be seen in a wide range of sizes to 20cm+. They have a very distinctive sharply sloping head and prominent eyes, with two white barbels protruding from the lower jaw. The colours they exhibit vary considerably ,with red often predominant.
Distinctive Features: The two long, constantly moving barbels protruding from the lower jaw will draw your attention to the fish. Both species have a steeply sloping head. Striped red mullet have a striped dorsal fin.
Abundance: As individuals and small groups. At every site and every dive.
Habitat & Behaviour: They will often be seen with their barbels moving activity through the surface layers of the sand or exploring the surface of rocky reefs. They are often followed by other fish, notably Bream and Wrasse, which pick up the scraps from this activity. They frequently rest on the seabed in groups of 3 to 5 fish lined up side by side.
Reaction to Snorkellers & Divers: Wary of surface diving snorkellers, much less wary of divers.
Other Names: There are two species found in the Mediterranean, Red mullet (Mullus barbatus) and the Striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus).
Text: Bob Earll
Photo: Russell & Gill Bennett
Video: Julia Jagoditsch