Know your Mangroves

Mud skippers (Commonly known as Nivati in Marathi)



Mud skipper is a unique fish which live on the mud flats associated with mangrove shores. They are well adapted to exposure to air outside water and exhibit how fish evolved into amphibians. They are well camouflaged and able to change colour to match their surrounding.

Mud skipper respires under water like other fish but out of the water gulp air. When submerged it swims like a fish but on land proceeds by a series of skips. Some of them can even climb trees using their fused pelvic fins as suckers and their pectoral fins as grasping 'arms'.

The mud skipper's most noticeable feature is a pair of highly mobile eyes perched on top of the head to increase the field of view and to enable it to see both under and over the water. They feed on insects, spiders and mollusks.

Dr. Maya Mahajan
Associate Manager
SP Godrej Marine Ecology Centre