Subfamily Oxudercinae

Fascinating Facts

  • Mudskippers are so named for their ability to walk, climb, and “skip” out of water.
  • Their large pectoral fins are shaped like legs to help them move.
  • Out of water, they breathe air through their gill chambers while keeping them wet by wiping them with their fins.
  • They also breathe through their skin, like amphibians.
  • Their eyes move independently and can see on land and in water.
  • Mudskippers dig their burrows by scooping out mud with their mouths, creating a surrounding wall for protection as they spit out.


Swamps, lagoons, mud flats, and estuaries, spending three-quarters of their time on land perched on mangrove roots and rocks. When submerged in their burrows they maintain an air pocket in case of low oxygen concentration in the water. Mudskippers eat insects, sandworms, and small crustaceans.

Status in the Wild

Least Concern – IUCN 2014


Indo-pacific, West Africa, Japanese coasts, Australia, Philippines and the Polynesian islands.

Location in the Zoo

Fish and Amphibians Zone of the Sculpture Learning Plaza

Animals & Exhibits