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Mullidae (goatfish, red mullet; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes) A family of marine fish that have an elongate body tapering towards the tail, but a flat belly, a steep forehead, and, characteristically, a pair of chin barbels which are probably used as feelers. They are bottomliving fish, often with distinctive colour patterns. Mullus surmuletus (red mullet), 40 cm, of the eastern Atlantic has been a popular food fish at least since Roman times. There are about 55 species, mainly marine, distributed world-wide in warmer water.