Mullet: Species ID

 

The following photos show some of the key features that can help to differentiate between the three UK mullet species.

 


 

  • Overall appearance; a good deal of variation, particularly in thicklips
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    Thicklip:

     
     

    Thinlip:

     

    Golden-Grey:

    - noticeably slimy, especially when out of the water for a while. Possibly less prone to shedding scales than the other two species

     
     

    Thicklip:

     
     

    Thinlip:

    - there is often the suggestion of a black spot at the base of the pectoral, which is sometimes still visible when seen swimming, also orange/gold colouration in the eye (see below)

    Golden-Grey:

    - usually quite slender, particularly the neck of the tail. There is usually, but not always, a gold mark on the gill cover, but this can also be present in thicklips. The pectoral fin is usually quite long and 'scimitar-like', but again, not always.

     
     

  • Head, lip, mouth, eye and pectoral:
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    Thicklip:

    Thinlip:

    - gold colour in the eyes

    Golden-Grey:

     
     

    - pectoral fins tend to look stubby when seen swimming

     
     

    - note the papillae on the top lip, absent in the other two species, but usually present in thicklips

     
     

     

  • Jugular space, between gill covers:

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    Thicklip:

    - papillae clearly visible

    Thinlip:

    Golden-Grey:

     

     

    Please see also the National Mullet Club ID Guide

    Last updated 25.07.20