Surface activity in the mudskipper, periophthalmus waltoni koumans 1941 in relation to prey activity and environmental factors

D. A. Clayton, R. Snowden

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Surface activity and foraging behaviour of the carnivorous mudskipper Periophthalmus waltoni Koumans 1941, was investigated in relation to environmental conditions on the mudflats of Sulaibikhat Bay, Kuwait. Fish occupied several burrows systems within a 2–3 m2 home range. Foraging activity was largely independent of environmental conditions only being inhibited by high wind speeds and surface temperatures below 15 °C. Hunting forays were longer than other surface activity, but once prey was caught, the mudskippers quickly returned to a pool of water or a burrow. To increase their hunting efficiency, successive hunts were spatially well separated because of the long surface return times of the ocypodid crabs following a hunt in their vicinity. For a variety of physiological requirements mudskippers exhibit considerable behavioural homeostasis in a harsh environment creating a unique system in which to investigate mechanisms of optimal foraging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalTropical Zoology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000



  • Activity
  • Behavioural homeostasis
  • Crabs
  • Foraging behaviour
  • Mudskipper
  • Ocypodidae
  • Periophthalmus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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