Mitochondrial phylogeny of grey mullets (Acanthopterygii: Mugilidae) suggests high proportion of cryptic species

The low level of morphometric variability and the poor phylogenetic information borne by the morpho-anatomical characters used thus far in the systematics of grey mullets (Mugilidae) emphasize the utility of molecular systematics in this family. A recent mitochondrial phylogeny of grey mullets has uncovered multiple deep lineages within several species, flagging putative cryptic species. Here, we considered that several of the deeply divergent lineages represent separate species based on either the tree topology, independent data from nuclear markers, geographic distributions, or a combination of the foregoing. By analogy with these well-documented cases, we considered other deep lineages in seven genera we focused on to represent putative cryptic species. Up to two cryptic species were thus potentially detected in the genus Chelon, three in Crenimugil (including two within the single Crenimugil seheli), two in Dajaus, one in Ellochelon, 16 in Mugil (including 13 within the single M. cephalus), two in Osteomugil, and 10 in Planiliza. Wherever possible, we kept the current species epithets to designate those lineages that unambiguously correspond to the type material, based on type locality, and we assigned arbitrary letters (sp. A, B, etc.) to the other lineages. We present a molecular diagnosis for 24 of the species analysed in this work, as well as for 25 putative cryptic species.


Molecular taxonomy, Revision, Chelon, Crenimugil, Dajaus, Ellochelon, Mugil, Osteomugil, Planiliza

Full Text

Publisher's official version
121 Mo
Supplementary data
-167 Ko
Supplementary data 2
-298 Ko
Supplementary data 3
-414 Ko
How to cite
Durand Jean-Dominique, Borsa Philippe (2015). Mitochondrial phylogeny of grey mullets (Acanthopterygii: Mugilidae) suggests high proportion of cryptic species. Comptes Rendus Biologies. 338 (4). 266-277.,

Copy this text