Atlantic Mudskipper

Atlantic Mudskipper

This species is found in brackish water along the West African coast, from Senegal to Angola, and on the islands of the Gulf of Guinea. Found on muddy substrates and in brackish waters of estuaries, lagoons, and mangrove swamps. It is found occasionally in freshwater, but always close to the coast. 

Zoo Diet

The mudskippers here at Living Coasts are fed a diet of crickets, mussel meat and mealworms. 

Wild Diet

The adults feed mainly on arthropods (crabs, insects, etc.) on the mud surface. Also included in their diet is the white mangrove, Avicennia nitida.


The Atlantic mudskipper is an amphibious air-breather that skips or walks on sand or mud in search of food. Males are noticeably more territorial than females. 

As well as breathing through their gills while in water, mudskippers can absorb oxygen directly from the air. They do this through their skin and through the lining of their mouth – which is why they are often seen ‘gulping’ air.


Males and females look superficially alike, however the male develops much brighter colouration when in spawning condition. Reproduction in mudskippers follows a rather elaborate courtship routine resulting in the male leading the female to his burrow where spawning takes place. 


This species is harvested in subsistence fisheries and has commercial value as an aquarium fish.


There is currently no information available but there would need to be policies put in place to protect the species. 

Atlantic Mudskipper


  • Latin Name: Periophthalmus barbarus
  • Order: Gobiiformes
  • Family: Oxudercidae
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
Quotes The presenter talks were great, we learnt a lot about the animals here. Quotes