Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Mudskipper

Periophthalmus barbarus, or more commonly referred to as the Mudskipper, is a fish that lives and thrives in the mangroves. Unlike most fish, the Mudskipper spends most of its life out of the water, using large, specialized pectoral fins to "walk" on land.

Mudskippers have a special cavity behind their ears where sea water is stored. As they rotate their eyes, pressure is applied to the cavity and this re-oxygenates the stored water, lubricates the gill flaps and restores the gills to their normal function.

They range in size from 4 to 12 inches long, have eyes that move independently and can see in all directions either on land or in the water, and can retract their eyes into their eye sockets, rolling them backwards to moisten them.

The Mudskipper diet includes insects, sandworms, small crustaceans which are all found in mangrove swamps.

Mating takes place in the male’s burrow. In some species, the female is driven out after mating and the male assumes broodcare responsibilities, but in others, a cohabitation period of variable length occurs. In this regard they are much like the majority of gobies, with broodcare by the male being typical. But much of mudskippers’ life cycles remains a mystery. Not much is known about the biology of mudskipper larvae; in some species the larvae abandon the nest after hatching, and drift about in the marine plankton before they metamorphose and settle down in intertidal areas as juvenile mudskippers. It’s unknown how long larval mudskippers drift in the plankton for, or how far this allows larvae mudskippers to travel.

I chose this fish because I didn't know that a fish could actually walk on land so I wanted to know more about it.

- Victoria Mehlhaff - 


  1. not only they can walk with their flipper,but they could climb trees.It amazing though,the higher male mud flipper jumps from the water other male would compete whose the highest.So it became a talk for the ladies to choose their mate!There are other creativity such as the most creative house an attraction for the ladies.All can be see at KUKUP ISLAND National Park,please put a comment to me at dbzainal@gmail.com

  2. This is fantastic - linked from the Mighty Coyne's WEIT site - I hope creation is not true, if it is God must be certifiably lunatic to design this magnificent beast!

  3. Why do you think a mudskipper needs to see in all directions?