Chanos chanos

Milkfish | Giant Herring | Salmon Herring | White Mullet
Chanos chanos
Chanos chanos, North WA, Australia, Photo: Andrew Green

Similar Species


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Torpedo-shaped body with large, strongly-forked tail. Has large, obvious scales and small mouth positioned right at end of the head, similar to that of mullet. Usually seen near the surface, where it feeds on floating algae.


Max Size: 180 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 20.7-31.3°C

Depth: 1-30m

Habitat Generalization Index: 4.39

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (1.2% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Several (10 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: extract from RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland