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Species: Dactyloscopus crossotus, Bigeye Stargazer

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eye: no distinct stalk
D XII, 1st 2-5 spines separate, free
tan + darker mottling
rear nostril: patch of 1-8 pores before tubular front nostril

Dactyloscopus crossotus Starks, 1913

Bigeye Stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head large, flattened above, rounded and narrow at front; rear nostril a patch of 1-8 pores between tubular front nostril & eye; eyes on top of head, large, protrusible, without real stalks; mouth upturned, with a protruding lower jaw, top jaw not reaching past eye, tip of lower jaw pointed when viewed from above; both lips with skin flaps; 1st preopercular canal branched, with multiple pores on branches; operculum with 12-15 skin flaps; dorsal fin origin on nape, before level of upper corner of operculum, XII (XI-XIV) spines, 1st 2-5 spines separate and free, 29 (27-31) rays; anal rays II, 33 (31-36); pelvic fins inserted under throat, each with I, 3, rays thickened and free at the tips; a slight notch under lower edge of tail fin base; lateral line continuous, bends down under last dorsal spine; scales large, smooth, head and belly scaleless; 47 (45-49) pored scales; 2 rows of scales between lateral line and 1st two dorsal spines, 1 row under rest of spines.

Tan with pale brown mottling above.

Reaches 7.5 cm.

Lives in sand bottoms, often in surge zones.

Depth range: 0-8 m, usually < 2 m.

Florida to Brazil.

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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
  • Beach
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 7.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 8