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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Gold-spotted Mudskipper

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Order : Perciformes
Species : Periophthalmus chrysospilos
Maximum Length : 13 cm

The Gold-spotted Mudskipper is a species of mangrove habitat which follows the sea's  edge as the tide falls and rises again. It can be found on various substrates, from mudflats to adjacent sandy beaches.

Typically this mudskipper is seen in shoals numbering over 20 individuals. The shoal moves in away in unison from any perceived threat.

The upper body is buff to medium grey, and the lower body cream to pale grey. Orange-gold spots are randomly scattered along each flank. The pelvic fins, on which mudskippers 'walk', are fused into a disk-like structure.

The front dorsal fin is typically reddish, with a thick black border fringed with a thin white edge. In males, the first two spines of the front dorsal fins extend beyond the fin itself : the first spine is twice as long as the actual fin.

Burrows are dug at the seaward edge of mangrove forests, to which males entice females by jumping. The species' diet is omnivorous.

The Gold-spotted Mudskipper is wide ranging and can be found in the Andaman Sea (India, Myanmar, Thailand), the Gulf of Thailand, coastal Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and parts of Indonesia.

Fig 1 : Part of a shoal of over 25 Gold-spotted Mudskippers at Telunas Beach, Pulau Sugi, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia. Note the reddish dorsal fin edged with black.

Figs 2 and 3 : Male examples from Tanjung Piai, and Parit Jawa, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 4 : Typical habitat of the species at Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo : gently lapping waves near seaward mangrove.

Figs 5 and 6 : Adult specimens with typical patterning of scattered gold spots. Seen at Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo

References : F2

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