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Species: Dactyloscopus comptus, Ornamented Stargazer

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eye: black, ring of bumps/flaps, stalk short
D usually 2 free spines, XI-XIII
uniform pale
upper lip: 11-12 flaps
rear nostril = hole near front tubular nostril
A segmented rays 28-30

Dactyloscopus comptus Dawson, 1982

Ornamented Stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head large, flattened above, slightly concave behind eye, rounded and narrow at front; eyes on top of head, distinctly stalked, but length of stalks only ~eye width, eye with a ring of translucent bumps or flaps at tip; mouth upturned, with a protruding lower jaw, top jaw reaching past eye; rear nostril a single pore near base of tubular front nostril; operculum and both lips with skin flaps, 9-22 on operculum, 11-12 (10-13) on top lip; 1st preopercular canal branched, with multiple pores on branches; canal pores on preoperculum 3-18; dorsal and anal fins with long bases; dorsal fin origin on nape, before level of upper corner of operculum, fin usually with II (I-III) free front spines, infrenquenly continuous, XI (X—XII) spines, 27 (25-28) rays; anal fin II, 28-30; pelvic fins inserted under throat, each with I, 3, rays thickened and free at the tips; no notch under lower edge of tail fin base; scales large, smooth; lateral line bends down under last dorsal spine, 43 (41-44) pored scales; 3-4 rows of scales on each side of nape before dorsal fin, center of nape scaleless; 3-4 rows of scales between lateral line and 1st dorsal spine, 1.5-2 row under rest of spines.

Pale, without prominent markings other than a black eye; inside mouth colorless.

Reaches 4.5 cm.

Lives in sand bottoms.

Depth range: 0-13 m, usually < 1.5 m.

The Bahamas to Puerto Rico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 13