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Species: Stellifer microps, Smalleye Stardrum

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head low, wide, spongy, translucent
eye small
D1 X
lower jaw: center row teeth slightly enlarged
gill rakers short, 20-24
preopercle > 10 spines
A 9
head scales smooth, 1-3 rows rough scales center nape

Stellifer microps (Steindachner, 1864)

Smalleye Stardrum

Body oblong, compressed; head large, low and broad, skull cavernous, translucent, but not spongy to touch; eye small; mouth large, slightly oblique, opens under projecting snout; central row of teeth on lower jaw slightly enlarged; chin with 6 pores, no barbels; snout with 8 pores; preopercle with >10 bony spines at angle; gill rakers short, 20-24; top corner of gill opening notched; deep notch between spiny and soft parts of dorsal fin, X + I-II, 19-23; anal fin with short base II, 9 (8-10), 2nd spine thick, ~2/3 1st ray; tail fin long, with a blunt point; pored lateral line scales 51-53; scales rough on body, smooth on head (except 1-3 rows rough along centerline of nape) and chest; scales in 2-3 rows along base of soft dorsal and covering almost all of membranes between rays; the lateral line extends to the center of the end of the tail fin.

Silvery grey above, whitish below; fins pale to yellowish; lining of body cavity dark, often visible outside; 1st dorsal tip dark; inside gill cover pale, with dark speckling.

Reaches 25 cm.

On sand and mud bottoms, also in river estuaries

Depth range: 1-72 m; usually in < 20 m.

Honduras to N Brazil.

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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 non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 72