Occurrence and abundance of young mullet Mugil liza (Teleostei: Mugilidae) in the surf zone along the southern coast of Brazil





mullet, nursery areas, southern Brazil, surf zone, estuary, recruitment


The southern population of Mugil liza is distributed from Argentina (47°S) to the state of São Paulo, Brazil (23°S). Young mullets use the estuaries as nursery grounds, and prior to recruitment into estuaries they use the surf zone as a temporary habitat. Based on 12 consecutive months of sampling, this study used generalized linear models (GLM) to analyse the relationships between environmental variables and the presence and relative abundance of young mullets in the surf zone adjacent to six major estuaries in southern Brazil (between 29°S and 33°S). Young mullets were present in all seasons over the sampling period, but the probability of occurrence was higher in winter and was associated with low temperatures. The water temperature alone explained more than half of the total deviance of the GLM models for presence (23%) and abundance (21%) of young mullets in the surf zone. Site 2 (Rio Grande) had lower temperatures in the colder months, the highest probability of occurrence of all collection sites and the greatest abundance (n=3402) of young M. liza, which represented 52% of the total of individuals (n=6493) caught among the six sites sampled.


Download data is not yet available.


Acha E.M. 1990. Estudio anatômico-ecologico de la lisa (Mugil liza) durante su primer año de vida. Frente. Marit. 7: 37-43.

Blaber S.J.M., Blaber T.G. 1980. Factors affecting the distribution of juvenile estuarine and in shore fish. J. Fish. Biol. 17: 143-162. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1980.tb02749.x

Blaber S.J.M., Whitfield A.K. 1977. The feeding ecology of juvenile mullet (Mugilidae) in southeast African estuaries. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 9: 277-284. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.1977.tb00270.x

Boehlert G.W., Mundy B.C. 1988. Roles of behavioral and physical factors in larval and juvenile fish recruitment to estuarine nursery areas. In: American Fisheries Society Symposium 3: 1-67.

Calliari L.J., Klein A.H.F. 1995. Variabilidade das praias oceânicas entre Cassino e Chuí, RS. IO/USP. 11: 55-63.

Castellini D.L., Brown D., Lajud N.A., et al. 2017. Juveniles recruitment and daily growth of the southern stock of Mugil liza (Actinopterygii; Fam. Mugilidae): new evidence for the current life-history model. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 99: 204-215. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315417001904

D'Aquino C.D.A., Andrade Neto J.S.D., Barreto G.A.M., Schettini C.A. 2011. Caracterização oceanográfica e do transporte de sedimentos em suspensão no estuário do Rio Mampituba, SC. Rev. Bras. Geofis. 29: 217-230. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-261X2011000200001

de Abreu-Mota M.A., Medeiros R.P., Noernberg M.A. 2018. Resilience thinking applied to fisheries management: perspectives for the mullet fishery in Southern-Southeastern Brazil. Reg. Environ. Change 18: 2047-2058. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-018-1323-9

Favero J.M. del, Dias J.F. 2015. Juvenile fish use of the shallow zone of beaches of the Cananéia - Iguape coastal system, southeastern Brazil. Braz. J. Oceanogr. 63: 103-114. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-87592015081806302

Figueiredo S.A.D., Calliari L.J. 2006. Sedimentologia e suas implicações na morfodinâmica das praias adjacentes às desembocaduras da linha de costa do Rio Grande do Sul. Gravel. 4: 73-87.

González-Castro M., Minos G. 2016. Sexuality and reproduction of Mugilidae. In: Crosetti D., Blaber S. (eds) Biology, ecology and culture of mullets (Mugilidae). CRC Press. Boca Raton. pp. 227-263.

González-Castro M., Macchi G.J., Cousseau M.B. 2011. Studies on reproduction of the mullet Mugil platanus Günther, 1880 (Actinopterygii, Mugilidae) from the Mar Chiquita coastal lagoon, Argentina: similarities and differences with related species. Ital. J. Zool. 78: 343-353. https://doi.org/10.1080/11250003.2010.549154

Hartmann C., Pereira L.E. 2001. Arroio Chuí: influencia antrópica na manutenção de um ambiente estuarino. Uberlândia, Sociedade e Natureza 13: 27-36.

Heras S., Maltagliati F., Fernández M.V., Roldán M.I. 2016. Shaken not stirred: A molecular contribution to the systematics of genus Mugil (Teleostei, Mugilidae). Integr. Zool. 11: 263-281. https://doi.org/10.1111/1749-4877.12173 PMid:27389711

Herbst D.F., Hanazaki N. 2014. Local ecological knowledge of fishers about the life cycle and temporal patterns in the migration of mullet (Mugil liza) in Southern Brazil. Neotrop. Ichthyol. 12: 879-890. https://doi.org/10.1590/1982-0224-20130156

Lemos V.M., Varela Jr. A.S., Schwingel P.R., et al. 2014. Migration and reproductive biology of Mugil liza (Teleostei : Mugilidae) in south Brazil. J. Fish. Biol. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.12452 PMid:25040915

Lemos V.M., Troca D.F.Á., Castello J.P., Vieira J.P. 2016. Tracking the southern Brazilian schools of Mugil liza during reproductive migration using VMS of purse seiners. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res. 44: 238-246. https://doi.org/10.3856/vol44-issue2-fulltext-5

Lemos V.M., Monteiro-Neto C., Cabral H., Vieira J.P. 2017. Stock identification of tainha (Mugil liza) by analyzing stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in otoliths. Fish. Bull. 115: 201-206. https://doi.org/10.7755/FB.115.2.7

Lira L., Martins I., Araujo T.H., Dehnardt E.A. 1976. Nota prévia sobre o comportamento da cunha salina no Estuário de Tramandaí RS. Ciências Biológicas 3: 115-126.

Loebmann D., Vieira J.P. 2005. Distribuição espacial e abundância das assembléias de peixes no Parque Nacional da Lagoa do Peixe, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Ver. Bras. Zool. 22: 667-675. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0101-81752005000300023

Mai A.C.G., Minõ C.I., Marins L.F.F., et al. 2014. Microsatellite variation and genetic structuring in Mugil liza (Teleostei: Mugilidae) populations from Argentina and Brazil. Est. Coast. Shelf. Sci. 149: 80-86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2014.07.013

Mai A.C.G., Albuquerque C.Q., Lemos V.M., et al. 2019. Coastal zone use and migratory behavior of the southern population of Mugil liza in Brazil. J. Fish. Biol. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.14120 PMid:31397887

Martin F.D., Drewry G.E. 1978. Development of fishes of the Mid-Atlantic Bight. U.S. Dept. Inter., Fish and Wildl. Serv.

McLachlan A., Brown A. 2006. The Ecology of Sandy Shores. Academic Press, 392 pp.

Morado C.N., de Andrade-Tubino M.F., Araújo F.G. 2021. Local ecological knowledge indicates: There is another breeding period in the summer for the mullet Mugil liza in a Brazilian tropical bay. Ocean. Coastal. Manage. 205: 105569. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2021.105569

Pimenta J. 1958. A faixa costeira meridional de Santa Catarina. Boletim no. 176, Rio de Janeiro: Divisão de Geologia e Mineralogia do DNPM.

R Development Core Team. 2013. Lang Environ Stat Comput 55: 275-286 Available at http://www.R-project.org

Ramos L.A., Vieira J.P. 2001. Composição específica e abundância de peixes de zonas rasas dos cinco estuários do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Bol. Inst. Pesca. 27: 109-121.

Rodrigues F.L., Cabral H., Vieira J.P. 2015. Assessing surf zone fish assemblage variability in southern Brazil. Mar. Freshwater. Res. 66: 106-119. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF13210

Schwarzbold A., Schäfer A. 1984. Gênese e Morfologia das Lagoas Costeiras do Rio Grande do Sul-Brasil. Amazoniana 9: 87-104.

Seeliger U., Odebrecht C., Castello J.P. 1998. Os Ecossistemas Costeiro e Marinho do Extremo Sul do Brasil. Ed. Ecoscientia, Rio Grande, 337 pp.

Strydom N.A. 2003. Occurrence of larval and early juvenile fishes in the surf zone adjacent to two intermittently open estuaries, South Africa. Environ. Biol. Fish. 66: 349-359. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023949607821

Tozzi H.D.M., Calliari L.J. 2000. Morfodinâmica da praia do Cassino, RS. Pesquisas em Geociências 27: 29-42. https://doi.org/10.22456/1807-9806.20176

Vieira J.P. 1991. Juvenile mullets (Pisces: Mugilidae) in the Estuary of Lagoa dos Patos, RS, Brazil. Copeia 409-418. https://doi.org/10.2307/1446590

Wasserman R.J., Strydom N.A. 2011. The importance of estuary head waters as nursery areas for young estuary-and marine-spawned fishes in temperate South Africa. Est. Coast. Shelf. Sci. 94: 56-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2011.05.023

Whitfield A.K. 1989. Ichthyoplankton in a southern African surf zone: nursery area for the postlarvae of estuarine associated fish species? Est. Coast. Shelf. Sci. 29: 533-547. https://doi.org/10.1016/0272-7714(89)90009-7



How to Cite

Marques Lemos V, Cabral H, Pasquaud S, Paes Vieira J. Occurrence and abundance of young mullet Mugil liza (Teleostei: Mugilidae) in the surf zone along the southern coast of Brazil. Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2021Dec.7 [cited 2024Apr.15];85(4):245-5. Available from: https://scientiamarina.revistas.csic.es/index.php/scientiamarina/article/view/1910




Most read articles by the same author(s)