Mudskippers in the Marquesas Islands


While on the island of Oa Pou in the Marquesas Islands, French Ploynesia, on 30 November, two sharp-eyed observers in our Quest group spotted live fish completely out of the water on rocks at the tide's edge. Every so often a wave came in and refreshed them.  We could see their pectoral fins moving rapidly, which acted like short legs moving them about on the rocks. They seemed able to hang on to the rock without being washed away when a wave hit them. They were about 15-25 cm long.

A little research shows they are a goby fish called Mudskippers, specially adapted to survive out of water. Only found in tropical and subtropical regions, they live in tidal areas, have gills, and can also breathe through their skin and mouth.


Mudskippers have large eyes on the top of their heads so they can look around up to 360 degrees. They have moveable eyelids and are able to keep their eyes moist when they are out of water. Another fascinating animal with unique adaptations.