Coupled behavioural observations and acoustical recordings of aggressive dyadic contests showed that the mudskipper Periophthalmodon septemradiatus communicates acoustically while out of water. An analysis of intraspecific variability showed that specific acoustic components may act as tags for individual recognition, further supporting the sounds' communicative value. A correlative analysis amongst acoustical properties and video-acoustical recordings in slow-motion supported first hypotheses on the emission mechanism. Acoustic transmission through the wet exposed substrate was also discussed. These observations were used to support an "exaptation hypothesis", i.e. the maintenance of key adaptations during the first stages of water-to-land vertebrate eco-evolutionary transitions (based on eco-evolutionary and palaeontological considerations), through a comparative bioacoustic analysis of aquatic and semiterrestrial gobiid taxa. In fact, a remarkable similarity was found between mudskipper vocalisations and those emitted by gobioids and other soniferous benthonic fishes.