DUBAI // A fish that walks on land has been spotted in the UAE for the first time in 35 years, according to two Dubai naturalists.
The Walton's mudskipper, known to experts as Periophthalmus waltoni, lives on mudflats in the intertidal zone of coastal lagoons.It spends most of its time out of the water, propelling itself through the mud using its fins, or hiding in burrows in the mud.The fish grows to about 15 centimetres and feeds on snails and insects on the damp surface when the tide is low.The sighting was made by Dubai-based naturalists Binish Roobas and Gary Feulner."The mudskipper's reappearance is a rare bit of good environmental news against a background of continuing habitat loss in the UAE's coastal regions," said Mr Feulner, a long-time resident and naturalist who is a frequent visitor to the country's coastal lagoons.Periophthalmus waltoni is found in the Northern Arabian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and as far away as Pakistan. But in the UAE, the last sighting recorded by scientific observers was in the mid-1970s.
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