Any of fewer than 100 species (family Mugilidae) of abundant, commercially valuable schooling fishes found in brackish or fresh waters throughout tropical and temperate regions. Mullets frequent shallow, inshore areas, searching the sand or mud for microscopic plants and small animals. They are silvery and 1–3 ft (30–90 cm) long, with large scales, a short snout, a cigar-shaped body, a forked tail, and two distinct dorsal fins, the first containing four stiff spines. The common, or striped, mullet (Mugil cephalus), cultivated in some areas, is a well-known species found worldwide.
Learn more about mullet with a free trial on Britannica.com.