This profile was written mostly by Richard Mleczko, He has an extensive site dedicated to the Mudskipper. If you need any help or have questions regarding these wonderful fish, please feel free to visit his site
Richard’s Mudskipper (and Brackish Goby) Home Page.





Photo by Richard Mleczko

Periophthalmus argentilineatus



    Mudskippers, like most gobies are a very hardy fish to keep. They love live foods but will take dry fish food as well. Their behavior ranges from docile to active to very aggressive. They are very territorial and this behavior is exciting to watch as they raise and lower their dorsal fins in acts of aggression. It is better to keep more than one as a loner will rarely raise its dorsal fin. However keeping too many results in fighting which can lead to maiming and death. Loosing an eye or fin in not uncommon. They a very comical to watch as they leap around the aquarium. A quote from a scientific journal states: “It is doubtful if there is any other group of fishes in which so much general interest is based on so little scientific knowledge.”

Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Up to 7 inches (18cm)
Tank: 4 foot
Strata: Amphibious
PH: 7 to 8.5
Hardness: Hard
Temperature: 79° to 88°F (26° to 32°C)


Phylum : Chordata
Class : Osteichthyes
Order: Perciformes
Family: Gobiidae
Genera: Periophthalmus
Species : argentilineatus (the most widespread species)

Common name:



    West Africa, East Africa, Madagascar, Arabian Gulf to India, SE Asia, China, Japan, Australia to Tonga.


Photo by Richard MleczkoGeneral Body Form:

    Generally long and thin. The head is very large with a protruding snout and the eyes project above the top of the head. The pectoral fins are very muscular and almost resemble arms which allow the Mudskipper to raise its body off the bottom and onto the land. The ventral fins are also partially fused and they form a suction disc The Dorsal fins tall and shaped like a sail.


    Species dependent but can be grayish, brownish, with blue, purple or orange spots. Usually with some coloration in the dorsal fins like spots or stripes.


    They are not too difficult to maintain if you are prepared to provide a terraquarium setup with brackish water. Mudskippers are able to drag themselves out of the water and onto the land using their strong pectoral fins and they can jump long distances when disturbed. When out of the water they need very humid air. The terraquarium setup should be a large shallow tank with very soft sand with Mangrove roots and flat stones.


    Muddy banks of Mangrove swamps in their home regions.


Photo by Richard MleczkoBreeding:

    1. (see comments below)
    None recorded in captivity. mudskippers are egg layers. Eggs are laid and fertilized in the burrows. Oxygen in the burrows is provided by the mudskipper who gulps air at the surface which he then releases deep inside the burrow. Eggs hatch after about 5 days and the young mudskipper becomes amphibious after about 50 days.



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