Mudskipper and Its Unique Lifestyle

mudskipperRetrieved from Pulau Ubin- the last rural corner of Singapore. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 April 2010 from


During the field trip to Pulau Ubin, some mudskippers fascinate me. Mudskipper that are usually found in the mangrove area of Pulau Ubin are Blue-spotted mudskipper (Boleopthalmus boddarti) and Giant mudskipper (Periopthalmodon schlosseri)(Pulau Ubin- the last rural corner of Singapore, n.d).Mudskipper is a special animal that live in mud. Unlike most fishes, they are able to live in mudflat burrow which is oxygen-depleted. Besides that, their egg could also be deposited in such a condition (Ishimatsu et al, 1998). In order to survive in such condition they must have some adaptations and these adaptations are worth exploring.


According to some research, the burrow of mudskipper are always filled with water and the water level is unaffected by tidal oscillation. The dissolved oxygen concentration of the burrow water varied from almost none to more than 80% of that air-equilibrated water at the surface and it decline with depth(Ishimatsu et al, 1998). This shows that, the mudskipper has its own ability to interact well with the environment.


From the research, the researchers observed that mudskippers transport air into the burrows. This is done through the inflation of the mudskipper’s buccopharyngeal cavity with air and when it emerged the cavity would deflated(Ishimatsu et al, 1998). This action of the mudskipper made the burrow filled with oxygen and suitable for them to live in. Besides that, mudskipper would take another gulp and reenter the burrow (Ishimatsu et al, 1998) to replenish the depleted oxygen concentration in the burrow. This is why we could see the head of mudskipper popping out from the mud. This adaptation is highly needed by the mudskipper so that they could live in a burrow. Besides that, this is also useful for them to breed their next generations.


Mudskippers take care of their young(Tan, 2001). During breeding burrow is built to deposit their eggs. As the young also need oxygen to survive, such behavior of mudskipper provide sufficient of oxygen for the embryo development.


Thus, mudskipper is has its own way of living and its adaptation for the interaction with the environment made them a successful animal.



Pulau Ubin- the last rural corner of Singapore. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 April 2010 from
 Ishimatsu,A.(1998, January, 15) Mudskippers store air in their burrows. Retrieved 10 April 2010 from

Tan,R. (2001) Giant mudskippers. Retrieved 10 April 2010 from

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