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Species: Stellifer colonensis, American Stardrum, Colon Stardrum

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head low, wide, translucent, not spongy
eye small
top lip: dark moustache
chin 6 pores
mouth opens slightly under snout
no dark band behind teeth
gill rakers 27-34, 1st arch pale
preopercle 4-6 spines

Stellifer colonensis Meek & Hildebrand, 1925

American Stardrum, Colon Stardrum

Body elongate, more or less compressed; head large, low and broad, slightly concave at nape, skull cavernous, translucent, firm to touch, wide between eyes; eyes relatively small (16-18% of head); mouth moderately large, oblique, opens a little under snout, top lip usually below eye level; chin with 6 pores, no barbells; snout with 8 pores; preopercle with 4-6 prominent bony spines at angle; gill rakers long and slender, 27-34, longest gill raker equal to or less than filament at angle of gill arch; top corner of gill opening notched; deep notch between spiny and soft parts of dorsal fin, X-XII + I, 21-25; anal fin with short base II, 7-8, 2nd spine long (2/3 1st ray) and thick; tail fin long, pointed; pored lateral line scales 46-49; scales rough on body, mostly smooth on chest, smooth on head; soft dorsal with 2-3 rows of small scales along its base and 2 rows of elongate scales behind each ray; the lateral line extends to the center of the end of the tail fin.

Silvery grey, pale below; tip of 1st dorsal dark; inside gill cover with small dark spots; a dark moustache on top lip no dark band at front behind teeth; 1st gill arch pale.

Reaches 20 cm.

Shallow coastal sand and mud bottoms, including estuaries

Depth range: 3-25 m.

The Greater Antilles to the southern Caribbean

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 25