Slender Mudskipper, Periophthalmus gracilis Eggert 1935

Other Names: Graceful Mudskipper

A male Slender Mudskipper, Periophthalmus gracilis, at Cairns, Queensland, October 2017. Source: coenobita / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale brown to greyish mudskipper with a white underside, a large black blotch on the rear of the first dorsal fin, irregular white blotches on the lower side of the head, narrow iridescent bluish bars on the side, and 5-7 irregular diagonal saddle-like dark bars and smaller irregular brown blotches along the back.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Periophthalmus gracilis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Mar 2024,

Slender Mudskipper, Periophthalmus gracilis Eggert 1935

More Info


Ludmilla Creek, Northern Territory, and Cape York to the Burnett River, Queensland.Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific.


Dorsal fin VI-XII + 1`-13; Anal fin 11-13; Longitudinal scale count 35-70; TRDB 14-20; 
Head width 14.2-19.3%SL; pelvic fin length 11.7-15.1%SL; length of anal fin base 17.8-21.1%SL; length of D2 base 18.8-21.3%SL; pelvic fins with no frenum and no basal membrane uniting inner rays.


Pale brown above, underside white; head and body with 7 anteriorly directed, diagonal, brown bars: two on head, one between first and second dorsal fins, two beneath second dorsal fin, and two on caudal peduncle; small, brown spot on midline of snout near upper jaw, another spot ventral to first dorsal fin and a spot ventral to origin of first dorsal fin; first dorsal fin short, rounded, with a broad, brown stripe that terminates posteriorly into a large, black spot; first dorsal-fin margin clear, basal portions of spines II -VI yellowish, interspinous membranes brown mesially along basal portion of fin; distal tips of second dorsal-fin rays dusky yellow, a narrow, brown stripe mesially with brown spots on elements basally; a series of 2-6 brown spots on caudal fin elements; pectoral fin elements with brown spots; anal and pelvic fins clear. 


The specific name gracilis is Latin meaning 'slender', in reference to the slender body of this species.

Species Citation

Periophthalmus gracilis Eggert 1935, Zoologische Jahrbücher 67: 79, pl. 6(22). Type locality: Tjilatjap, Java; Mole, Jakarta (as Batavia); Sumatra, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Fuanal Directory

Slender Mudskipper, Periophthalmus gracilis Eggert 1935


Eggert, B. 1935. Beitrag zur Systematik, Biologie und geographischen Verbreitung der Periophthalmidae. Zoologische Jahrbücher 67: 29-116 figs 1-16 pls 1-9 

Jaafar, Z. & Larson, H.L. 2008. A new species of mudskipper, Periophthalmus takita (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Oxudercinae), from Australia, with a key to the genus. Zoological Science 25: 946–952.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

Larson, H.K. & Lim, K.K.P. 2005. A guide to the gobies of Singapore. Singapore : Singapore Science Centre 164 pp. 

Martin, K.L.M. & Bridges, C.R. 1999. Respiration in water and air. pp. 54-78. In M.H. Horn, K.L.M. Martin & M.A. Chotkowski (eds) Intertidal fishes. Life in two worlds. Academic Press. 399 pp.

Milward N.E. 1974. Studies on the taxonomy, ecology and physiology of Queensland mudskippers. Ph.D thesis, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 276 pp.

Murdy, E.O. 1989. A taxonomic revision and cladistic analysis of the oxudercine gobies (Gobiidae: Oxudercinae). Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 11: 1-93 figs 1-98 pls 1-3 

Myers, R.F. 1989. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Guam : Coral Graphics 298 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428220


Habitat:Mangrove-lined creeks

Max Size:4.5 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map