Last update: 26 Aug 2016

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Common names:



Pusing mudskipper*



perioftalmo Pusing*

* proposed name

Periophthalmus pusing. Sumba Island, Indonesia;
lateral view, approximately 35 mm SL - live specimen (photo: Z. Jaafar, 2012)

Periophthalmus pusing. MZB 23015, female, 35.3 mm SL holotype (Jaafar, 2016).
Sumba Island, Indonesia; lateral view; the bar is 10 mm long
(photo: Sandra Raredon, 2016)


'Periophthalmus' is a compound name from the Greek 'peri' (around), and 'ophthalmôn' (eye), which refers to the wide visual field of these species

'pusing' means 'giddy' in Indonesian, as it is believed that consuming these fishes causes headaches and giddiness (Jaafar et al., 2016)

Maximum recorded length:
37 mm SL (Jaafar et al., 2016)

Live colouration (Jaafar et al., 2016):
ground colour greenish-brown to tan-brown on dorsum, silvery white to light beige on venter; multiple silvery vertical stripes on flanks, from the pectoral-fin base to caudal peduncle, ventrally more evident; 7-8 dorsal dark brown saddle-like irregular bars may be visible. D1 with distal hyaline to silvery-white margin, a broad black to dark brown inframarginal band, which is darker in the posterior portion, appearing as a spot, which aligns with the third saddle-like bar on trunk; proximal portion of D1 with variable colouration, from greenish-yellow anteriorly and reddish-orange posteriorly with 2-3 rows of bright yellow flecks on interspinal membranes, to entirely reddish orange with 1-2 rows of hyaline spots. D2 with distal hyaline margin, broad inframarginal reddish-orange band, another hyaline band below, and basal dusky reddish-brown band, with 1-2 rows of small yellowish or hyaline spots. Caudal fin hyaline, with aligned series of dusky to brownish speckles along rays. Anal fin hyaline. Pectoral-fin membranes hyaline, brownish along rays. Pelvic fins beige, dorsally whitish to yellowish

Colouration on preservation (Jaafar et al., 2016):
ground colour dorsally and laterally beige to dusky brown, ventrally creamy beige, darker around eyes and snout; dark and irregular dorsal banded pattern frequently visible. D1 with thin distal hyaline margin, broad inframarginal dark brown to black band, posteriorly more intensely pigmented, that appears as a spot, which aligns with the third saddle-like bar on trunk; proximal to this band, there is a band which is light to dusky brown anteriorly and hyaline posteriorly; whitish elongated spots in 2-3 rows on anterior spines. D2 with thin distal hyaline margin, broad inframarginal brown band, another hyaline band, and a basal dusky brown band with 1-2 rows of spots on fin elements. Caudal fin hyaline with aligned series of dark speckles on rays. Pectoral fin hyaline on interradial membranes and dusky light brown along fin elements. Pelvic fins white ventrally, dorsally dusky. Anal fin hyaline

Diagnosis (Jaafar et al., 2016):
D1 XI-XV; total D2 elements 11-13; total anal fin elements 11-13; longitudinal scale rows 42-54; pectoral-fin elements 10-12; predorsal scales (along dorsal midline) 14-19; pelvic fins completely separated, pelvic frenum absent; D1 margin rounded; dorsal fins not connected by membrane; D1 with a black spot posteriorly, usually between 9th and ultimate spine; D1 taller than D2; interdorsal distance less than 1/2 the length of the first D1 spine; no elongated spines.
See Remarks for the discrimination between P. pusing and P. gracilis.
The genus is yet undefined by synapomorphies

no scientific data available.

no scientific data available.

Ecological notes (Jaafar et al., 2016):
P. pusing was found in the mangrove forests of Kawangu (Sumba island, Indonesia) in a range of vegetated habitats, from the low- to the high intertidal zone, and on the unvegetated banks of tidal creeks. It was found syntopic with the congeners P. argentilineatus and P. malaccensis

Distribution (Jaafar et al., 2016):
currently only known from Sumba Island, Indonesia (type locality)

See Periophthalmus gracilis.
Smaller specimens (SL 25-30 mm) of P. pusing and P. gracilis are not easily discriminated. Adults of P. pusing can be discriminated from adults of P. gracilis in having D1 with more spines (XI-XV in P. pusing, VI-XII in P. gracilis), taller D1 (taller than D2 in P. pusing, shorter or equal in height than D2 in P. gracilis) and smaller interdorsal distance (less than half the length of the first D1 spine in P. pusing, approximately equal to the length of the first D1 spine in P. gracilis) (Jaafar et al., 2016).

Photographs of Periophthalmus pusing:


Drawings of Periophthalmus pusing:




A: cephalic sensory and nasal pores of Periophthalmus spp.: an = anterior nostril; pn = posterior nostril (modified from Murdy, 1989)* - * with permission

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