October 30th, 2018

Mudskipper - Oxudercidae

Mudskippers are part of a group of fish that love to walk around the tidal mangroves in Queensland.

You can find them in the shallows in some areas in QLD. They can both swim, and live out of the water. Helpful for when you want to walk between ponds of water. They have both behavioural and physical adaptations that allow them to do so. These fish are more related to amphibians [frogs] than fish. With a mucous layer to help hold in moisture, and powerful front forelimbs to help drag the fish along. Occasionally skipping along at quite some speed, sometimes required when escaping from a seagull.

Because these fish are more related to frogs they don't require their gills to survive. Most of their skin will absorb oxygen, and the fish will take air down when a pool of low oxygen water, or mud in order to breath. Notably, their eyes also protrude from the top of their head, helping them to see on land rather than in water. Making this creature very specialised in order to live where it does.

These fish have always been fascinating to watch getting about the mudflats in QLD. Today's photograph was taken at a very close range in a small pond with clear water. Revealing details and colouration on the body, on what is otherwise a very small animal.