The thin-lipped mullet has the typical mullet body shape and scales. The pectoral fin does not reach the eye when folded backwards. The upper lip is less than half of the diameter of the eye in depth.
The torpedo shaped body of the thick-lipped mullet is covered with large scales. The anterior of the two dorsal fins has four spines. The upper lip is broad and more than half of the diameter of the eye in depth.
The golden grey mullet is the smallest of the three mullets found in Northern European waters. It has the typical mullet body shape and the pectoral fin, when folded forwards covers the back half of the eye.
The red gurnard, like others in this family has a sloping, hard bony head with spines on it and the gill plates. It has a stocky, tapered body with large scales along the lateral line.