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

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5


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

This large mudskipper is regarded as uncommon, but can be easily located in parts of Singapore. It has been observed venturing onto mudflats at low tide, and clinging to mangrove roots at high tide.

The dorsum and flanks are pale to dark brown, adorned with numerous pale speckles. Some specimens may have dark dorsal barring, and immediately behind the eye there is sometimes a short, dark stripe.

The front dorsal fin is dark brown, with a somewhat darker edge and thin, whitish to transparent margin. The Yellow-spotted Mudskipper can be distinguished from another similarly large species, the Giant Mudskipper Periophthalmodon schlosseri, by the absence of bluish-white speckles on the cheeks.

The snout is blunt, and the large eyes typically protuberant.

The species excavates its burrows in the landward zone of mangrove habitat.

This mudskipper occurs on the Andaman Sea coast of Southern Thailand, and in the Straits of Malacca off Peninsular Malaysia's west coast. In Singapore it can be found in the northerly mangroves at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Khatib Bongsu facing onto the Johor Straits which separate Singapore from Malaysia.    

Fig 1 : Specimen from Pulau Ubin, Singapore.

Fig 2 : Clinging to a tree root at high tide, Sungei Buloh, Singapore.

Fig 3 : Male and female pair at their burrow entrance, Sungei Buloh, Singapore.

Fig 4 : Venturing onto mudflats at low tide, Khatib Bongsu, Singapore.

Fig 5 :
Juvenile at Khatib Bongsu mangroves, Singapore. Thanks to Gianluca Polgar for assistance in identification.

References : F2

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