Golden Grey Mullet (Liza aurata)

/ / Fish


Liza aurata is a medium sized fish of 15-40cm (1), which reaches a maximum of 50cm; the body form is elongate with a slight depression in the cross-section (1) (2). The mouth of the Golden Grey Mullet is terminal or inferior (1); the upper lip is thin, and the mouth cleft reaches below the nostril (2).

L. aurata has two well-separated dorsal fins; the first has 4 spines, the second is opposite the anal fin and has one spine with 7-10 soft rays (1) (2). The caudal fin is forked (1). There are 41-46 lateral line scales up to the caudal base (1). The scales found on the head extend to the posterior nostril, there is no pectoral axillary scale (2).

Golden Grey Mullet have a greyish blue colouration on the back, the underside is pale or silver colour (2); a golden marking is located on the operculum.


L. aurata is a schooling species (1).


L. aurata is an inshore, pelagic species that swims along the shore in schools (1); they rarely enter fresh water (3).

Life Cycle

The spawning season of L. aurata is in July-November (2).


L. aurata is in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea; also from the British Isles and Norway to the Azores, Madeira and Cape Verde (2) (3).


The Golden Grey Mullet is omnivorous feeding on small benthic organisms, detritus, and plankton. (1) (3).

Conservation Status

Not evaluated under the IUCN Redlist (4).


Description written by Ben Harvey (2009)

(1) Golani, D., Özturk, B. and Başusta, N. 2006. Fishes of the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkish Marine Research Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey. 259pp.

(2) Risso, A. 1810. Ichthyologie de Nice, ou histoire naturelle des poissons du département des Alpes Maritimes. Paris, xxxvi+388 pp., 11 pl. (Reprint, 1966, Asher, Amsterdam.)

(3) Thomson, J.M. 1986, Mugilidae. Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). Paris:ORSTOM.

(4) IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. <>. Downloaded on 27 July 2009.