The Digital Fish Library

Advanced Search

Uranoscopidae (Stargazers)

Species Currently in the DFL

Results: Viewing items 1-2 of 2.
Previous  |   1   |  Next
3D SpecimenMRI SagittalMRI HorizontalMRI AxialSpecies
Astroscopus zephyreus
Pacific Stargazer
Kathetostoma averruncus
Smooth Stargazer
About This Family
Tropical and temperate areas of all oceans, occasionally in estuaries.
In or on sand and mud bottoms from very shallow waters to depths of 550 m.
Stargazers have a large, dorsally flattened head and a strongly oblique to vertical mouth, and lips fringed with fleshy ridges (fimbriae). The eyes are on top of the head, directed upward or nearly so. A few species have an electric organ located just behind the eye, derived from modified eye muscles. Fishermen and biologists have been mildly shocked by these fishes. Many stargazers have large spines near the posterior head which are associated with venom glands and a few fatalities have been reported.

Most species are nocturnal, burying themselves during the day with only the eyes and mouth protruding. Stargazers are ambush predators and some have a dermal appendage at the central tip of the respiratory valve inside the lower jaw which is used as a bait to attract small prey to the mouth.

There are eight genera and about 50 species, the largest approximately 65 cm.

Carpenter, pp. 1746-1747, in: Carpenter 2002; Halstaed 1965; Kishimoto, pp. 3519-3531, in: Carpenter & Niem 2001; Nelson 2006
Copyright © 2009 Digital Fish Library. All Rights Reserved.
Contact Us  |   Terms of Use  |   Help