Grey Mullet - Mugil cephalus
The Mullet or Grey Mullet, Mugil cephalus, is one of the easiest fish to meet in the Mediterranean Sea, lives in groups of numerous specimens and is rather easy to meet given its proverbial curiosity towards everything that populates its territory.
The common mullet, Flathead grey mullet, is a fish belonging to the Mugilidae family, it is easily recognized by the other Mugilidae because of the large and massive head and the transparent eyelid that covers the eye, two characteristics absolutely typical of the species. Its maximum dimensions are 100 cm in length and approximately 4.5 kg in weight. The weight varies from breed to mullet breed because there is a breed called Mazzone that reaches up to 8 kg.
Its range is very vast, in fact it lives in all the tropical and warm temperate waters of the world (circumtropical distribution). In Europe it is widespread north up to the Gulf of Gascony. It is a euryhaline species, able to withstand wide variations in salinity so that it is regularly found in marine, sweet or brackish waters. It is able to live even in polluted environments, in fact it is frequently found in ports. He lives in schools (especially young people).
It usually lives in open water in the first 15 meters of depth where it feeds on algae, small fish, small molluscs and any type of benthic invertebrate, even of decomposing organic material.
We met him in Free-Style freediving, that is, only with mask and snorkel without fins and other aids such as wetsuit and cylinders, thanks to the poor visibility due to the rather cloudy water I was able to bring the whole herd that seemed rather nervous perhaps to due to the presence of some predator.
Mullets are in fact the favorite prey of large sea bass and large Mediterranean jackfish such as Lichia amia and amberjacks. They take advantage of the sociability of living in packs just to escape these large predators who, towards the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, approach the coast in search of food. The video shows how the herd is rather nervous and shy in open water, probably due to the presence of some predator. In the second dive I met the mullet piled up in a hole, which they rarely do during the day, however they then came close enough to be able to film them for a few seconds.