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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Squaretail Mullet
   
   

Fig 1
  

Fig 2
    

Fig 3
     

Fig 4
 


Fig 5
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order : Mugiliformes
Family : MUGILIDAE
Species : Ellochelon (formerly Liza) vaigiensis
Maximum Length : up to a maximum of 63 cm

The Squaretail Mullet (also known as 'Diamondscale Mullet') inhabits coastal lagoons and inlets, reef flats, river estuaries, mangrove margins and other sheltered habitats. It is occasionally recorded in downstream, freshwater stretches of some rivers. Juveniles may seek shelter in mangrove habitats.

This is the only species in the genus Ellochelon. It is a surface-dwelling, torpedo-shaped fish with a squarish tail. Its upperside is brownish, and its flanks silvery. Its tail fin is yellowish and its pectoral fins are dark. Its scales are dark-edged, and brownish stripes may be apparent on the flanks.

Ellochelon vaigiensis feeds on organic detritus and marine algae. Fishbase describes its eggs as pelagic (free-floating), which must contribute to the widespread dispersal of the larval stage.

This species occurs throughout much of the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea and East Africa in the west, through the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia, to Japan and the central Pacific Ocean.



Fig 1 : Example from Sungei Buloh, Singapore in shallow, fringing mangrove.

Fig 2 : Fringing mangrove at Sungei Buloh, Singapore.

Figs 3 to 5 : Images from a shallow lagoon at Bora Bora, French Polynesia.


References : F3

Fishbase