Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Stellifer rastrifer, Rake Stardrum

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head low, wide, spongy, translucent
D 21-23
gill rakers 40-50
chin 6 pores
preopercle 2 strong spines
inside operculum & mouth black
scales smooth on head except centerline nape: 1-several rows rough scales

Stellifer rastrifer (Jordan, 1889)

Rake Stardrum

Body oblong, robust, more or less compressed; head large, low and broad, skull cavernous, translucent, not spongy to touch, wide between eyes; mouth large, oblique, opens at front; chin with 6 pores, no barbels; snout with 8 pores; preopercle with 2 strong bony spines at angle; gill rakers long and slender, 40-50; top corner of gill opening notched; deep notch between spiny and soft parts of dorsal fin, X-XII + I-II, 21-23; anal fin with short base II, 9, 2nd spine >2/3 of 1st ray; pectorals long, reaching anal fin origin; tail fin long and pointed; pored lateral line scales 50-52; scales rough on body, smooth on head except 1-several rows of rough scales along center of nape; soft dorsal with 2-3 rows of small scales along its base; the lateral line extends to the center of the end of the tail fin.

Golden yellow, paler below; upper 1/3 of 1st dorsal dark; anal fin yellow, with a black edge; pectorals and pelvics yellow; inside gill cover and mouth black.

Reaches 25 cm.

On sand and mud bottoms, also estuaries and lagoons.

Depth range: 1-40 m; usually in < 20 m.

Nicaragua to NE 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
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 40