Waipio Valley Stream Restoration Study

Fish: Native Species

Scientific name: Mugil cephalus
Common name(s): ‘Ama‘ama, striped mullet

Mugil cephalus

Status: Indigenous

Habitat: Estuary areas, and the lower sections of streams, can be found well inland to well above first major riffle area of stream

Preferred Area of Stream: Pools, but also common moderate to fast gradient areas of stream

Range in Hawai‘i: ‘Ama‘ama are common in all areas of the Hawaiian Islands, and are also common in larger estuaries and 100% freshwater areas of lower streams.

Diet: Algae, diatoms and detritus from the bottom.

Predators: Birds such as ‘auku‘u (black-crowned night-herons), fish such as ulua (Caranx spp.) and kākü (Sphyraena barracuda) will chase and eat small mullet in estuarine regions of the stream. Large adult ‘ama‘ama have few, if any, predators in stream areas above estuaries.

Fact: ‘Ama‘ama are one of the most important recreational sportfish in Hawai‘i today, and were also cultured in large ponds by native Hawaiians in coastal regions.