Fun Mulloway Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Mulloway Facts For Kids

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The mulloway (scientific name Argyrosomus japonicus) is an insanely renowned species of fish that is highly demanded by Australian anglers. It is a magnificent fish that is valued as a sport and food fish. It is also commonly known as the Mully, butterfish, river Kingfish, river king, Mulla, Croakers, School Kingfish, Southern Meagre, and Japanese Meagre. It can be seen in coastal rivers, reefs, offshore gravel beds, and river mouths. It swims up to a depth of 492.1 ft (150 m) in the water. Juveniles are known to inhabit nearshore waters and estuaries. It is also known to hunt in river mouths and coastal areas along beaches and rocky foreshore where there is a large population of squid and baitfish. Its diet comprises octopus, small fish, prawns, squid, crabs, and marine worms.

It is a hard-to-catch fish that ranges between 1-2 m (100-200 cm) in length and 66.1-154.3 lb (30-70 kg) in weight. It's a popular game fish that increases in size quite rapidly. It can be caught with the right strategy. This mesmerizing fish responds well to a lure and bait. It can be given fresh bait which is fresh, however, live bait would be better. What it likes the most is fresh or live squid. It can be given bunches of live beach worms in the surf. Keep reading to dive deeper into the word of mulloways and learn fascinating facts about it!

If you enjoyed reading our mulloway interesting facts, you must check out our cool Requiem Shark facts for kids and Billfish surprising facts!

Fun Mulloway Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Fish, octopus, prawns, marine worms, crabs, and squids

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

One million eggs

How much do they weigh?

66.1-154.3 lb (30-70 kg)

How long are they?

1-2 m (100-200 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Silvery to bronze-green, yellow, and black

Skin Type

Wet, slimy scale

What were their main threats?

Pollution, Lack Of Food, And Fishing

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Estuaries, Beaches, Reefs, River Mouths, Coastal Rivers, Offshore Gravel Beds, Coastal Areas Along Rocky Foreshore, And Nearshore Waters


Pakistan, Australia, And Japan, Northwest India, Southeast Africa, And Southeast Asia From Hong Kong To Korea









Mulloway Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a mulloway?

The mulloway is a type of fish that is a member of the Sciaenidae family and the Argyrosomus genus.

What class of animal does a mulloway belong to?

It is a member of the class Actinopterygii. It belongs to the group of croakers or drums. It's closely related to the European meager, South African kob, red drum (redfish), and  American white seabass.

How many mulloways are there in the world?

The exact population number of these fish has not been evaluated yet. However, we do know that the population trend of this species is decreasing. The major factor of their decline is over-fishing by anglers.

Where does a mulloway live?

This fish can be found in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean surround South Africa, India, Pakistan, Japan, Korea, and China. In Australia, they can be spotted from the southern region of Queensland to Western Australia's central coast. It's endemic to the waters of Australia.

What is a mulloway's habitat?

The Scieanids are demersal creatures typically and can be seen in coastal, estuarine, and fresh marine waters in the temperate to subtropical areas of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans. This is a near-shore coastal species that swims at depths up to 492.1 ft (150 m).

Who do mulloways live with?

This fish is a cautious fish that has been observed to swim and hunt in schools.

How long does a mulloway live?

This fish can live quite a long life with larger fish of this species living more than 40 years!

How do they reproduce?

Adults reproduce throughout the spring-summer seasons in the surf regions of beaches. The mulloway produces a grunting/croaking noise through their swim bladder which is considered to be a courtship behavior. Spawning takes place outside the surf zone in marine waters. The egg larval development happens at the sea. They form spawning aggregating in the summer season around high tide in turbid waters. Approximately one million eggs are spawned. The larvae and the eggs flow out to the ocean with the tide.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the mulloway as per the IUCN's Red List in Endangered. The major threats they face are poor water quality as that declines the population of small fish and crustaceans. Mulloway is also overfished in some regions of Australia. The legal size of catching this sport fish is 19.6 in (50 cm) and a bag limit of two mulloway per person daily.

Mulloway Fun Facts

What do mulloways look like?

Mulloways can range between 1-2 m (100-200 cm) in length and weigh between 66.1-154.3 lb (30-70 kg). They have a silver to bronze-green coloration with yellow-colored fins and a black spot at the pectoral fin's base. It's a slender fish that is quite larger in size. Its dorsal side is bronze-green with a pale ventral side. There is a row of characteristic white-colored spots along the lateral line. The caudal fin of juveniles is angular than the larger fish whose caudal fin is rounder.

The mulloway is a beautiful fish species that is silvery to bronze-green in color!

How cute are they?

These fish are magnificent. They have a beautiful shade of bronze-green on their body which gives them their name.

How do they communicate?

Intriguingly, the mulloway has a unique smell due to which people on the beach can tell that a school of these fish is passing by. These fish are quite vocal. They're a member of the croakers group of fish that can be very noisy. All the species of the croakers group have unique swim bladders that help them in producing their renowned drumming/croaking sound that is audible from several feet below the surface of the sea.

How big is a mulloway?

The mulloway can range between 1-2 m (100-200 cm) in length. They can be the same size as that of the horn shark!

How fast can a mulloway swim?

The speed of the mulloway has not been evaluated yet. However, this schooling fish can swim large distances of more than 124.2 mi (200 km)!

How much does a mulloway weigh?

This fish weighs anywhere between the range of 66.1-154.3 lb (30-70 kg)!

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no particular names for the female and male mulloway.

What would you call a baby mulloway?

The babies of the mulloway are sometimes referred to as soapies due to their soft flesh. The medium-sized mulloways are called school fish.

What do they eat?

Mulloways are irregular scavengers and predators, feeding mainly upon squid, small fish, octopus, marine worms, prawns, and crabs. They hunt in daylight and nighttime in dirty water with low light.

Are they dangerous?

They're quite friendly with divers. They're interested and curious about what they're doing. However, as tempting as it may seem to feed them, one should not as they have teeth and a big mouth.

Would they make a good pet?

These fish grow up to a very large size and are endangered as listed by the IUCN. Thus, these fish cannot be good pets. However, they're fished in some regions.

To catch the mulloway, the right technique, bait/lure, and line-cutting covers like rocks and jetty are required. These fish react well to flies and lures, with soft plastics being very popular among sport fishers. Anglers favor heavier tackle for heavy rock breakwater and surf fishing and in open water, the lighter tackle is preferred. Capturing mulloway does not require hard-wearing traces or leaders. Usually, a monofilament leader that is of double the strength as of the mainline job will work. The bait is an essential part of fishing. If the bait is excellent, catching the fish will be easy. Natural baitfish colors are favored by numerous specialists. Although, in dirty water with low lighting, the brighter color of the bait can prove to be useful. They like to consume luderick (blackfish), small tailor, yellowtail scad, trevally, mullet, pike, garfish, tommy ruff (herring), slimy mackerel, and pilchards.

Did you know...

The mulloway is believed to consume invertebrates until their fins and hearing ability develop!

Consuming this fish aids in healthy digestion and improves eye health.

Naming the mulloway fish

The common name mulloway of Argyrosomus japonicus means 'the greatest one' which was kept due to its weight which ranges between 66.1-154.3 lb (30-70 kg). The mulloway fish is also known as butterfish due to the butter-like yellow-colored lather it produces on seawater's surface when it spawns.

How long does it take for mulloway to grow?

The mulloway spawns 1 million eggs outside the surf zone which move out towards the ocean. At the larval stage when they're 0.5 in (15 mm) in length, they move back to the estuary where they stay until they're a year old and 13.7 in (35 cm) in length. They move back to the ocean after this length and age are attained. The mulloway fish grow quite rapidly in the initial six years of their life. They attain sexual maturity when they're 31.4-35.4 in (80-90 cm). After this length is attained, their growth rate slows down.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these shark fun facts and salmon surprising facts pages!

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable mulloway coloring pages!

Written By
Rhea Nischal

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