Diamondscale Mullet (species: Ellochelon vaigiensis) in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Ellochelon vaigiensis
Diamondscale Mullet

©Anne Hoggett: A small (25 cm long) Diamondscale Mullet at Lizard Island

©Anne Hoggett: Adult Diamondscale Mullet at Lizard Island (40 to 50 cm long)

©Andy Lewis: An adult Diamondscale Mullet
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Mugiliformes
Family Mugilidae
Genus Ellochelon
Species Ellochelon vaigiensis



Distinguishing features

A large silvery fish with a rounded snout, powerful tail, and distinct diamond scale pattern on the body. Small individuals have black pectoral fins. Usually seen in schools along rocky shores and over sandy or muddy bottoms.


  • Up to 55 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Usually found in schools over shallow sandy, muddy or rubble bottoms in sheltered parts of the Island. Regularly seen off Research Beach and Mangrove Beach.

Can be found in most sheltered locations around the island.


This species feeds on plankton and detritus, and the fish move quickly across the bottom slurping up sediment. They aggregate in large schools to spawn in deeper offshore water during the mid-summer months of December to February. This species probably lives to about 10 years.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.
  • Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene (1990). Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Other references

  • Grant, C.J. and A.V. Spain (1975). Reproduction, Growth and Size Allometry of Liza vaigiensis (Quoy and Gaimard) (Pisces: Mugilidae) from North Queensland Inshore Waters, Australian Journal of Zoology, 23: 475-85. LIRS catalog number 90070.
  • View all references