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 -