Last update: 05 May 2013

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Common names:


Chinese Mandarin

細青彈塗魚, 细青弹涂鱼 (Xi qing tan tu yu - Small green mudskipper)






Saltafango tigrato*



Slender mudskipper



Indian Ocean slender mudskipper

* proposed name

Scartelaos tenuis, Bandar Khamir, Hormozgan, Iran
lateral view (above); dorsal view (centre); ventral view (below);
the bar is 10 mm long - freshly dead specimen (photo: G. Polgar, 2007)


Boleophthalmus tenuis

Day, 1876

(senior synonym)

Scartelaos tenuis

(Day, 1876)

(senior syn., new combination)

'Scartelaos' is probably a compound name from the Greek 'skarthmos' (leaping), and 'laos' (people, folk), which maybe refers to the typical tail-stand of males during courtship

'tenuis' means 'thin' in Latin, which refers to the slenderness of this mudskipper

Maximum recorded length:
155 mm SL (Randall, 1995)
190 mm TL (Abdoli et al., 2009)

Live colouration (Murdy, 1989, pers. obs.: Iran):
ground colour on dorsum and flanks light brown to light grey: dorsally darker; venter whitish; head and dorsum with dark grey to brownish mottling, which become larger posteriorly; dark grey blotches may be present posteriorly on flanks. D1 bluish grey with an orange tip in some specimens; D2 dusky to yellowish grey with grey blotches posteriorly and a black margin, posteriorly more intense; an inframaginal white stripe may be present; caudal fin orange in the background, dark grey in the middle with orange ocular spots and a dorsal black margin; an inframaginal white stripe may be present; anal, pectoral and pelvic fins greyish to fleshy; pectoral fins with small dark grey spots

Colouration on preservation (Murdy, 1989, pers. obs.: Iran):
ground colour bluish grey to brownish, ventrally paler; several dark bars on trunk may be visible; numerous dark spots may be visible on nape, cheeks, opercula, and pectoral fins; D1 paler basally; a white spot may be present on top; D2 speckled, with a black dorsoposterior margin and large, dark spots posteriorly; caudal fin with a black dorsoposterior margin with ocular spots; anal and pelvic fins hyaline

Diagnosis (Murdy, 1989):
head depth 9.5-10.8%SL; caudal fin length 21.7-26.3%SL; length of D1 base 5.6-8.3%SL; D2 and anal fins not connected by membrane to the caudal fin; no barbel near the symphysis of lower jaw; 15-18 vertical dark bars on flanks; large, dark spots or stripes basally on D2.
The genus is characterised by the presence of barbels on the ventral surface of the head

no published study is available

no published study is available

Ecological notes (pers. obs.: Iran):
adults locally very abundant on lower and higher mudflats, wherever semi-liquid mud is present; some notes on the ecology and behaviour of this species are also present in Clayton & Vaughan, 1986 (= S. viridis). Recently, a population of this species was found to be parasitised by a leech (Zeylanicobdella arugamensis, Piscicolidae) in southern Iran by Polgar et al. (2009).

middle: Bandar Khamir, Hormozgan, Iran: a tidal mudflat exposed at low tide, ranging from a supratidal sand dune to the sea; S. tenuis adults were abundant here, from a distance of about 250 m from the sand dune (photo: G. Polgar, 2007)

from Persian Gulf to Pakistan; type locality: Karachi, Pakistan (Murdy, 1989)


Photographs of Scartelaos tenuis:


A: S. tenuis fixed and preserved in formalin (photo: G. Polgar, 2007); B-C: close-up of a specimen in laboratory (photo: G. Polgar, 2007); D: another close-up in aquarium (photo: G. Polgar, 2007); E: a specimen on a tidal mudflat (photos A-E: G. Polgar, Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan, Iran, 2007); F: two specimens on a tidal mudflat (photo: D. Clayton, Kuwait) - * with permission

Drawings of Scartelaos tenuis:



A: cephalic sensory and nasal pores of Scartelaos spp.: an= anterior nostril; ao= anterior oculoscapular canal pore; pn= posterior nostril (modified from Murdy, 1989)*; B: Boleophthalmus tenuis Day (Day, 1876) - * with permission

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