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Mudskippers
Clayton, D.A. (1993). Mudskippers. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 31: 507-577
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Boleophthalmus Valenciennes, 1837 [WoRMS]; Periophthalmodon Bleeker, 1874 [WoRMS]; Periophtalmus [WoRMS]; Scartelaos Swainson, 1839 [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Clayton, D.A.

Abstract
    The oxudercine gobies commonly known as mudskippers provide a rich source for comparative studies in adaptation to the littoral habitat. In spite of the paucity of information on reproduction, culturing techniques have improved in recent years and the developmental stages of the Chinese and Japanese species are now known. Morphological studies of mature fish have centred on skeletal characteristics as an adjunct to taxonomy and on vision, respiration and excretion. Mudskippers are euryhaline and ammoniotelic with sophisticated biochemical pathways for ammonia detoxification operating to different extents in the various genera. Free amino acids play a central role in both excretion and osmoregulation. The relative importance of the respiratory surfaces of these facultative air-breathing fishes varies in air and water and also between genera. The surfaces include the gills and modified buccal, pharyngeal and opercular epithelia as well as limited, well vascularised areas of the skin. The respiratory rate and energy consumption are reduced during hypoxia, but the full extent of metabolic changes in aestivating or hibernating fishes has yet to be fully explored. Mudskippers usually inhabit tidal mudflats and mangroves, but can be found on sandy and rocky shores. Of the common genera, Boleophthalmus and Scartelaos are considered to be more aquatic than Periophthalmus and Periophthalmodon, but complex patterns of zonation indicate that more detailed ecological data are required on this topic as well as on the biotic components and parasites. From simple tidal migrations to burrow construction and complex mud-walled polygonal mosaics, mudskippers exhibit a wide range of territorial behaviour which is matched by their diverse courtship and agonistic displays.

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