Overview

Brief Summary

The mudskippers (subfamily Oxudercinae) are a group of 40 species in the Gobiidae family. They inhabit soft-bottomed tidal areas such as mangrove swamps and mudflats in tropical and subtropical Indo-west Pacific (East Africa, Madagascar through Southeast Asia and Northern Australia). There is also one species found in West Africa. Mudskippers have the ability to breathe both in air and water (bimodal respiration), through their skin (termed cutaneous air breathing) and using enlarged gill chambers, as long as their surfaces stay moist. They are able to move around effectively on muddy land by “skipping” and flicking themselves around with their pectoral fins, which are very much like tetrapod limbs. Burrowing is also important for mudskippers; they use their burrow for protection but also to thermoregulate, and it’s thought that the ability to protect their eggs from desiccation as well as storing air in a special chamber of the burrow has allowed mudskippers to colonize land habitats, especially those that often have anoxic conditions at high tide. Mudskippers have active and dramatic courtship displays, which involve color changes and flipping themselves high in the air to attract females. Males build the nests and guard the eggs that the females lay inside the burrow. While often abundant in their habitats, mudskippers are susceptible to ever-increasing pressure of human impacts on mudflat and mangrove ecosystems.

(Polgar 2010; Wikipedia 2012)

  • Polgar, G. (ed), 2010. The mudskipper, World Wide Web electronic publication, Retrieved March 15, 2012 from www.mudskipper.it.
  • Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 14 February, 2012. “Mudskipper”. Retrieved March 15, 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mudskipper&oldid=476855750">http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mudskipper&oldid=476855750">http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mudskipper&oldid=476855750
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 25 specimens in 18 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 5 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.1 - 2
  Temperature range (°C): 26.857 - 28.922
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.018 - 0.462
  Salinity (PPS): 28.170 - 34.532
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.329 - 4.572
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.068 - 0.380
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.568 - 8.126

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.1 - 2

Temperature range (°C): 26.857 - 28.922

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.018 - 0.462

Salinity (PPS): 28.170 - 34.532

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.329 - 4.572

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.068 - 0.380

Silicate (umol/l): 2.568 - 8.126
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:92Public Records:31
Specimens with Sequences:54Public Species:5
Specimens with Barcodes:54Public BINs:6
Species:22         
Species With Barcodes:17         
          
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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

Mudskipper

Mudskippers are members of the subfamily Oxudercinae (tribe Periophthalmini),[1] within the family Gobiidae (Gobies). They are completely amphibious fish, fish that can use their pectoral fins to walk on land.[2][3] Being amphibious, they are uniquely adapted to intertidal habitats, unlike most fish in such habitats which survive the retreat of the tide by hiding under wet seaweed or in tidal pools.[4]

Mudskippers are quite active when out of water, feeding and interacting with one another, for example to defend their territories. They are found in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions, including the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic coast of Africa.

Adaptations[edit]

Schlammspringer Periophthalmus sp.jpg

Compared with fully aquatic gobies, these fish present a range of peculiar behavioural and physiological adaptations to an amphibious lifestyle. These include:

  • Anatomical and behavioural adaptations that allow them to move effectively on land as well as in the water.[3] As their name implies, these fish use their fins to move around in a series of skips. They can also flip their muscular body to catapult themselves up to 2 feet (60 cm) into the air.[5]
The mudskipper pectoral fin differs from most actinopterygian fishes in that the radials of the mudskipper pectoral fin are elongate and protrude from the body wall. This unusual morphology creates a pectoral fin with two fin segments (the radials and the rays) and two movable hinge joints: a `shoulder' joint where the cleithrum meets the radials and a `intra-fin' joint where the radials meet the rays (Harris, 1959). In addition, [...] the abductor superficialis muscle of the pectoral fin is divided into two sections (rather than being a single muscle, as is common with the rest of the Oxudercinae gobies) with one section inserting on the dorsal rays and the other section inserting on the ventral rays (Murdy, 1989).

The Journal of Experimental Biology, [6]

  • The ability to breathe through their skin and the lining of their mouth (the mucosa) and throat (the pharynx). This is only possible when the mudskipper is wet, limiting mudskippers to humid habitats and requiring that they keep themselves moist. This mode of breathing, similar to that employed by amphibians, is known as cutaneous air breathing.[4] Another important adaptation that aids breathing while out of water are their enlarged gill chambers, where they retain a bubble of air. These large gill chambers close tightly when the fish is above water, keeping the gills moist, and allowing them to function. They act like a scuba diver's cylinders, and supply oxygen for respiration also while on land.[4]
  • Digging deep burrows in soft sediments allow the fish to thermoregulate,[7] avoid marine predators during the high tide when the fish and burrow are submerged,[8] and for laying their eggs.[9]

Even when their burrow is submerged, mudskippers maintain an air pocket inside it, which allows them to breathe in conditions of very low oxygen concentration.[10][11][12]

Species[edit]

Periophthalmodon septemradiatus territorial defense call and jumping ability

The genus Periophthalmus is by far the most diverse and widespread genus of mudskipper. Eighteen species have been described.[13][14][15] Periophthalmus argentilineatus is one of the most widespread and well known species. It can be found in mangrove ecosystems and mudflats of East Africa and Madagascar east through the Sundarbans of Bengal, Southeast Asia to Northern Australia, southeast China and southern Japan, up to Samoa and Tonga Islands.[1] It grows to a length of about 9.5 cm [1] and is a carnivorous opportunist feeder. It feeds on small prey such as small crabs and other arthropods.[16] Another species, Periophthalmus barbarus, is the only oxudercine goby that inhabits the coastal areas of western Africa.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Murdy EO (1989). "A Taxonomic Revision and Cladistic Analysis of the Oxudercine Gobies (Gobiidae: Oxudercinae)". Records of the Australian Museum. Suppl 11: 1–93. 
  2. ^ Swanson BO, Gibb AC (2004). "Kinematics of aquatic and terrestrial escape responses in mudskippers". The Journal of Experimental Biology 207 (Pt 23): 4037–44. doi:10.1242/jeb.01237. PMID 15498949. 
  3. ^ a b Harris VA (1960). "On the locomotion of the mudskipper Periophthalmus koelreuteri (Pallas): Gobiidae". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 134: 107–35. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1960.tb05921.x. 
  4. ^ a b c Graham JB, ed. (1997). Air–breathing Fishes. Evolution, Diversity and Adaptation. San Diego California: Academic Press. 
  5. ^ Piper R (2007). Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals. Greenwood Press. 
  6. ^ C. M. Pace and A. C. Gibb (July 15, 2009). "Mudskipper pectoral fin kinematics in aquatic and terrestrial environments" (PDF). The Journal of Experimental Biology 212: 2279–2286. doi:10.1242/jeb.029041. PMID 19561218. 
  7. ^ Tytler P, Vaughan T (1983). "Thermal Ecology of the Mudskippers Periophthalmus koelreuteri (Pallas) and Boleophthalmus boddaerti (Pallas), of Kuwait Bay". Journal of Fish Biology 23 (3): 327–37. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1983.tb02912.x. 
  8. ^ Sasekumar A, Chong VC, Lim KH, Singh HR (1994). "The Fish Community of Matang Mangrove Waters, Malaysia". In Sudara S, Wilkinson CR, Chou LM. Proceedings, Third ASEAN-Australia Symposium on Living Coastal Resources. Research papers 2. Bangkok: Chulalonghorn University. pp. 457–64. 
  9. ^ Brillet C (1969). "Etude du comportement constructeur des poissons amphibies Periophthalmidae". Terre et la Vie (in French) 23 (4): 496–520. 
  10. ^ Ishimatsu A, Hishida Y, Takita T, Kanda T, Oikawa S, Takeda T, Khoo KH (1998). "Mudskipper Store Air in Their Burrows". Nature 391 (6664): 237–8. doi:10.1038/34560. 
  11. ^ Ishimatsu A, Takeda T, Kanda T, Oikawa S, Khoo KH (2000). "Burrow environment of mudskippers in Malaysia". Journal of Bioscience 11 (1–2): 17–28. 
  12. ^ Lee HJ, Martinez CA, Hertzberg KJ, Hamilton AL, Graham JB (2005). "Burrow air phase maintenance and respiration by the mudskipper Scartelaos histophorus (Gobiidae: Oxudercinae)". The Journal of Experimental Biology 208 (Pt 1): 169–77. doi:10.1242/jeb.01361. PMID 15601887. 
  13. ^ Larson HK, Takita T (2004). "Two new species of Periophthalmus (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Oxudercinae) from northern Australia, and a re-diagnosis of Periophthalmus novaeguineaensis". The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 20: 175–85. 
  14. ^ Jaafar Z, Perrig M, Chou LM (2009). "Periophthalmus variabilis (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Oxudercinae), a valid species of mudskipper, and a re-diagnosis of Periophthalmus novemradiatus". Zoological Science 26 (4): 309–14. doi:10.2108/zsj.26.309. PMID 19798926. 
  15. ^ Jaafar Z, Larson HL (2008). "A new species of mudskipper, Periophthalmus takita (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Oxudercinae), from Australia, with a key to the genus". Zoological Science 25 (9): 946–52. doi:10.2108/zsj.25.946. PMID 19267605. 
  16. ^ Milward, NE (1974). Studies on the taxonomy, ecology and physiology of Queensland mudskippers (unpubl. Ph.D. dissertation ed.). Brisbane: University of Queensland. 
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