Planiliza abu 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Mugiliformes Mugilidae

Scientific Name: Planiliza abu (Heckel, 1843)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Abu Mullet
Chelon abu (Heckel, 1843)
Liza abu (Heckel, 1843)
Mugil abu Heckel, 1843
Mugil hishni Hora and Misra, 1943
Mugil pseudotelestes Pietschmann, 1912
Mugil (Liza) abu Heckel, 1846 ssp. zarodnyi Berg, 1949
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. and Van der Laan, R. (eds.). 2018. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 30 April 2018. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: This species previously appeared on the IUCN Red List in the genus Liza but is now considered valid in the genus Planiliza (Eschmeyer et al. 2018).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2012-05-25
Assessor(s): Harrison, I.J. & Freyhof, J.
Reviewer(s): Ali, A., Esmaeili, H. & Smith, K.
This is a widespread species, present in large and probably many small rivers of the Persian Gulf and is not significantly affected by the threats present in the region. It is therefore assessed as LC.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in rivers flowing to the northern and eastern Persian Gulf, and is most common in Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan. It is found far upriver in Syria and Turkey, within the Tigris and Euphrates system (Thomson 1997, Unlu et al. 2000, Sahinoz et al. 2011).  Also in Kor and Maharlu, two internal basins in Central Iran. A relict population is in al-Ahsa oasis in Saudi Arabia. It has also been reported from the Orontes river systems draining to the Mediterranean (Yalcin-Ozdilek 2004) where it is introduced and established.
Countries occurrence:
Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia; Syrian Arab Republic; Turkey
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This resistant and ubiquitous species is most likely only locally declining or has stable populations. It is the dominant species of lakes and recovering marshes in Iraq (Coad 2012) and some rivers of Iran (Mokhayer 1981).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a freshwater mullet, found in streams, rivers, drains, channels, canals, lakes, reservoirs and ponds, including fish farms (Coad 2012). It is found in schools. In Iraq it is found in surface waters and submerged vegetation of lakes and marshes, preferring a gentle flow of water, and it enters deeper waters in December and January, especially in cold winters (van den Eelaart 1954). It occasionally enters estuaries, preferring salinities lower than 2‰ but can tolerate salinities up to 30‰ if the change is gradual (Ahmed et al. 2002, cited in Coad 2012).  The species is known to migrate upriver in the Tigris system (between August and February) (Ünlü et al. 2000). It reaches 26 cm total length and 0.15 kg (Coad 2012). Individuals from Baghdad were found to reach seven years old, based on age estimates from scales (Al-Yamour et al. 1988). The diet is diverse but the main component is organic detritus and sand grains which are probably ingested when searching for detritus, and the species may be ingesting micro-organisms associated with the sand (Odum 1968). Aquatic plant parts, phytoplankton and aquatic insects and their larvae are also important parts of the diet. Other prey include crustaceans, molluscs and worms. Very small fish consume eggs. This species is a day feeder (Coad 2012). 

Fish are sexually mature at one year, with the smallest mature males being 10.4 cm and females being 10.6 cm in the Tigris (slightly longer or older - up to four years - in some populations in Turkey (Ünlü et al. 2000, Sahinoz et al. 2011, Coad 2012). The species spawns twice a year in Iran (Marammazi 1994). Relative fecundity of fishes from Iraq ranges from 359,873 to 756,118 eggs for fish of age groups 1+ to 3+ (Epler et al. 1996), but is reported as lower in populations in Turkey (Ünlü et al. 2000).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Movement patterns:Nomadic

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This is an important food fish, at least in Iran and Iraq if not elsewhere. In Iran it comprises 44.2% of the catch (Mokhayer 1981). According to Coad (2012) it forms about 29% of the total annual catches of freshwater fishes in southern Iraq, and about 7.4% of the total annual catch for the whole country (Mhaisen and Yousif 1989, Mhaisen and Al-Jaffery 1989). The fish are also cultured in ponds (Sahinoz et al. 2011). FAO FishStat does not give individual data for this species. Subsistence fisheries exist in the Indus River in Pakistan (Coad 2012). It is sensitive to pollution from oil and gas and may be a useful indicator species (Faddagh et al. 2004, cited in Coad 2012)).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Coad (2012) notes this species is more sensitive to pollution than several other species in Iraq (Balasem et al. 2000, cited in Coad 2012). There are many threats in the area inhabited but none is believed to be strong enough to impact this species considerably.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: According to Coad (2012), Mhaisen and Yousif (1988) recommend banning fishing in Iraq from mid-January to mid-May during the spawning season, and instituting an increase in fishing net mesh size to 23.2 mm. Coad (2012) states that biology and stock assessments for Iranian waters need to be carried out, and variation in the species should be re-examined to determine if nominal species and subspecies are valid.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: This species previously appeared on the IUCN Red List in the genus Liza but is now considered valid in the genus Planiliza (Eschmeyer et al. 2018). An amended assessment has been produced to reflect this change.

Citation: Harrison, I.J. & Freyhof, J. 2018. Planiliza abu (amended version of 2014 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T197038A128737622. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided