• Leaping mullet

Latin name

Chelon saliens

Other names

Chelon saliens


Body elongated, cylindrical. Head broad, width of interorbital space approximately equal to width of mouth; snout pointed, without scales to anterior nostrils. Several grooves of the lateral line system on the back and rear of the head. Eyes with fatty eyelid. Upper lip thinner than half the diameter of the eye. Transverse scale rows 42-48, longitudinal rows 13-14. First dorsal fin with 4 hard rays; second dorsal fin with 1 hard and 8-9 soft rays. The anal fin has 3 hard and 8-9 soft rays. There are no axillary scales at the base of the pectoral fins. There are 60-65 gill rays on the first gill arch.


Widespread in the eastern Atlantic, from Angola to the Bay of Biscay; Mediterranean and Black Seas. In the Black Sea, occurs in significant numbers in the western part. In summer it enters the Sea of Azov. Transferred to the Caspian Sea in 1930-1934, where it established and proliferated perfectly. 


A marine, gregarious fish that easily jumps out of the water in warm weather. It tolerates both the fresh water of river mouths (where it sometimes enters) and the increased salinity of lagoons.


Body length is 20-40 cm. Maximum body length is 40 cm. Rarely weighs up to 2 kg.

Life history and Behavior

Usually large and older individuals are the first to approach the spawning grounds and spawn, while younger individuals continue to feed intensively. They gradually approach the spawning grounds and begin spawning from the end of August to the end of October.

Food and feeding habits

Juvenile fish feed first on zooplankton and then on benthic organisms.


Spawning occurs at temperatures between 17 and 29°C. Sexual maturity occurs at 3-4 years of age. Males mature a year earlier than females. Females are larger than males. The type of spawning is single. Females synchronously mature and incubate a batch of eggs at the same time.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Mugiliformes
Family Mugilidae
Genus Chelon
Species C. saliens
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 2
Maximum length, cm 40
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Not predator

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Leaping mullet

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