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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Gobiidae > mudskippers
Gold-spotted mudskipper
Periophthalmus chrysospilos

Family Gobiidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This delightful fish with golden spots is commonly seen on many of our shores. It tends to move around in groups following the water line, often in amusing 'herds', nervously moving just out of your reach. Sometimes they move in a line, following what seems to be the leader. On all kinds of shores including rocky shores, sandy areas near mangroves and seagrasses, as well as on coral rubble areas near reefs.

Features: 6-12cm. Gaily speckled with orange spots on 'cheeks' and the underside of the body. The male raises his bright orange-and-black dorsal fin to court females and intimidate rival males. Unlike females, males have elongated spikes on the first and second spine of his colourful first dorsal fin.

The mudskipper digs a burrow on soft mud flats, spitting out balls of mud as it digs out the hole. One mudskipper was seen to spit out mud missiles at an intruder! Here's video clips of this mud-slinging.

What does it eat? It eats small crabs, prawns and insects.

Raffles Lighthouse, Jul 06

Chek Jawa, Dec 09

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her flickr.

Tanah Merah, Jun 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his flickr.

Male has elongated first and second spines
on the first dorsal fin.
Chek Jawa, Jan 10

Spitting out mudballs as it digs a burrow.
Chek Jawa, Jan 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his flickr.

Sometimes seen moving in a group.
Pulau Semakau, Dec04

Mudskipper eating a tubeworm.
Chek Jawa, Jun 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

East Coast Park, Feb 16
Photo shared by Jonathan Tan on facebook.

Gold-spotted mudskippers on Singapore shores

Photos of Gold-spotted mudskippers for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

spitting mudskipper from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

retreating mudskippers @ Chek Jawa 23July2011 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

Other references
  • Larson, Helen K and Kelvin K. P. Lim. 2005. A Guide to Gobies of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 164pp.
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