Weber's Mudskipper, Periophthalmus weberi Eggert 1935

Weber's Mudskipper, Periophthalmus weberi. Source: Helen K. Larson. License: Al rights reserved


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Martin F. Gomon, Periophthalmus weberi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Sep 2018,

Weber's Mudskipper, Periophthalmus weberi Eggert 1935

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Distributed in northern Australia from the Darwin area (130°E) to the Alligator River area (132°40'E) and New Guinea; a tropical, amphibious species in muddy bottomed brackish mangroves, estuarine margins and tidal creeks.


D IV-XVI; I, 10-13; A I, 8-13; C (segmented rays) 17, (branched rays) 12-15; P 11-16; V I, 5; Tr Sc 11-30; GR (lower limb) 4-5.
Body elongate and slender, tapering posteriorly. Head width 15.4-19.4% SL. Snout vertical. Posterior nostril not prominent, at lateral edge of a fleshy ridge anterolateral to eye; head pores absent. Eyes erectile, dermal cup covering ventral portion of each; fleshy ridge in midline anterior to eyes.  Gape of moderate size, maxilla reaching to below middle of eye; anterior portions of upper and lower lip internally papillose, roof of mouth with 2 large papillae; upper lip expanded into a large fold posteriorly near tip of maxilla, that joins a similar fold of lower lip at corner, this fold completely covering jaws posteriorly even when agape; anterior portion of upper lip completely overlapping upper and lower jaw teeth when mouth closed; additional sheath of skin on each side of this sheath overlying upper lip forming pendulous flap with anterior nostril at tip, flap extending ventrally below jaw when mouth closed; teeth caniniform, single row of 13-39 in each jaw, those anteriorly typically larger and pointed; no canines internal to symphysis of lower jaw.
Scales cycloid, covering head and body except snout, isthmus and interorbital region; largest scales posteriorly, very small on head and underside; scales in regular rows and extending onto caudal fin; lateral line absent; longitudinal scales 46-52; predorsal scales 18-40.
Two dorsal fins; first in males of moderate height, with almost straight margin, spines extending beyond membrane and first spine more than twice as long as others, first dorsal connected by membrane to second; first dorsal of females, reduced to a few short spines; second dorsal fin base rather short, length 20.6-26.8% SL, ending within 14-16 scales of caudal fin; folded second dorsal fin reaching within 6-8 scales of caudal fin. Anal fin of moderate height but lower than second dorsal fin; length of base 14.2-18.5% in SL; rays unbranched; rear end of anal fin slightly before rear end of second dorsal fin; anal fin spine much reduced; folded anal fin ending well short of caudal fin. Lower caudal fin rays thickened distally with close segmentations. Lower 2-6 pectoral fin rays branched with close segmentations. Pelvic fins separate, length 15.0-17.1 % SL; pelvic frenum absent or microscopic.


To around 10 cm


Bluish grey without spots or stripes on head and trunk; first dorsal fin black with few small, pale blue spots on interspinous membranes, spines grey, first whitish distally; second dorsal dark brown except for pale margin; anal fin distally blackened with transparent margin and black speckles on a hyaline background proximally; caudal fin pale brown dorsally, dark brown ventrally; pelvic fin blackish grey on dorsal surface, dusky ventrally with transparent margin.


Likely to be oviparous benthic spawners.


Generic name from the Greek, peri, around, and ophthalm, eye, in reference to the prominent, dorsally-placed eyes that appear to provide a broad range of vision. Species name, weberi, honours Max Weber who published many works on fishes in the New Guinea-Australia region.

Species Citation

Periophthalmus weberi Eggert, B. (1935). Beitrag zur Systematik, Biologie und geographischen Verbreitung der Periophthalmidae. Zool. Jahrb. (Jena) 67: 29–116 figs 1–16 pls 1–9 [55, pl. 2(6–7)].
Irian Jaya.


Martin F. Gomon

Weber's Mudskipper, Periophthalmus weberi Eggert 1935


Reference: Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. (2002). Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia.  Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp. [281].

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428357


Habitat:tidal creeks and estuaries

Max Size:10 cm SL

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