Today we have a quick little doodlewash of an odd little creature called a mudskipper (suggested by Carol of Carol’s Creative Papers). This uncommon fish is completely amphibious and can use its pectoral fins to walk on land. Unlike other fish, these guys have adapted to survive out of the water during periods of low tide. Despite the appearance of having legs, their fins move at the same time allowing them to hobble about on land with a movement called “crutching” as it looks like the fish is limping around on a pair crutches.
The mudskipper’s frog-like eyes can move independently from one another allowing them to visualize objects above and below the surface of the water at the same time. They prefer to rest on roots or rocks, because spending too much time in the water can actually kill them. These odd creatures can be from 2.75 to 9.75 inches in length (7-25cm) and they are able to jump up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) in the air to get where they need to go. Which is handy when you are stuck with crutches for legs.
The mudskipper is a rather territorial animal and will build low, wall-like ridges to mark the borders of its territory. Being out of the water can often lead to problems with dry eyes, so when they feel the need, they dip a fin into the water and then wipe the dry area with their wet fin. A male mudskipper’s throat and skin will become golden colored during the breeding season. Males will perform push-ups and jump high in the air to show off their dorsal fins to impress the ladies, as female mudskippers are apparently easily impressed. If you know of an uncommon creature to doodlewash next, shout it out in the comments!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!