Mudskipper Madness with World’s Expert, Dr. Gianluca Polgar

Dr. Roy Yanong on Pet Life Radio

Which fishes commonly court potential mates on land, can climb up mangrove trees, and dig deep burrows to lay eggs? The incredible mudskipper! Although mudskippers have made it big in some children’s cartoons, very few people really understand how unique and varied this group of fishes is.

My guest today, Dr. Gianluca Polgar, is the world’s expert on mudskippers and an aquarium hobbyist at heart.  Join us as Dr. Polgar shares his vast knowledge of the mighty mudskipper!


Dr. Gianluca Polgar graduated and attended doctoral studies at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, studying the ecology of mudskippers. During his research, he worked in several countries (including Australia, Brunei, Great Britain, Iran, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore) and collaborated with several research teams from different institutions to study these amphibious fishes. His passion for amphibious gobies or mudskippers (formerly Gobiidae: Oxudercinae, now classified as Gobionellidae) stems from his great passion as an aquarist.

He also manages a website on mudskippers (, to promote mudskippers interest for both scientific and non-scientific communities. His focus is on ecological and evolutionary transitions of semi-aquatic and semi-terrestrial animals, and presently works at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam as a Research Fellow. He believes that mudskippers are unique vertebrate models that can provide valuable insights into this scientific area. He also works with tropical intertidal crabs and gastropod snails.