Weber's Mudskipper, Periophthalmus weberi Eggert 1935

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


A pale brown to greyish (females), or brownish to bluish-grey (mature males) mudskipper becoming paler below, with blue irregular stripes on the chin and throat, two dark irregular stripes from the rear of the eyes to the caudal peduncle, and often 7-8 dark brown saddle bars on the back. The first dorsal fin in males is dark brown with many iridescent blue spots, a pale bluish margin and elongated anterior fin spines. Females have a short brownish first dorsal-fin with the first two dorsal-fin spines whitish. The second dorsal fin is dark brown with blue spots, a white submarginal stripe and a red margin.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2018, Periophthalmus weberi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 May 2024,

Weber's Mudskipper, Periophthalmus weberi Eggert 1935

More Info


Northern Australia from the Darwin area to the Alligator River area, Northern Territory, and the Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in West Papua, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Inhabits mangroves, estuary margins and the lower, tidal parts of freshwater creeks and streams.


Dorsal fin IV-XVI + I, 10-13; Anal fin I, 8-13; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 17, (branched rays) 12-15; Pectoral fin 11-16; Pelvic fin I, 5; Transverse scales 11-30; Gill rakers (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.


The specific name weberi, honours Max Weber who published many works on fishes in the New Guinea-Australia region.

Species Citation

Periophthalmus weberi Eggert 1935, Zool. Jahrb. (Jena) 67: 55, pl. 2(6–7). Type locality: Irian Jaya, Indonesia.


Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Weber's Mudskipper, Periophthalmus weberi Eggert 1935


Allen, G.R. 1991. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of New Guinea. Madang : Christensen Research Institute 268 pp.

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

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.K. 2008. A new species of mudskipper, Periophthalmus takita (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Oxudercinae), from Australia, with a key to the genus. Zoological Science (Tokyo) 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

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

Murdy, E.O. & Jaafar, Z. 2017. Chapter 1: Taxonomy and systematics review. pp. 1-36 in Jaafar, Z. & Murdy, E.O. (eds). Fishes Out of Water: Biology and Ecology of Mudskippers. Boca Rotan, Florida : CRC Press 390 pp.

Parenti, L.R. & Jaafar, Z. 2017. Chapter 2: The natural distribution of mudskippers. pp. 37-68 in Jaafar, Z. & Murdy, E.O. (eds). Fishes Out of Water: Biology and Ecology of Mudskippers. Boca Rotan, Florida : CRC Press 390 pp.

Polgar, G., Sacchetti, A. & Galli, P. 2010. Differentiation and adaptive radiation of amphibious gobies (Gobiidae: Oxudercinae) in semi-terrestrial habitats. Journal of Fish Biology 77(7): 1645-1664 DOI:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02807.x

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428357


Habitat:Estuaries, tidal creeks

Max Size:10 cm SL

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