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  • D continuous
    back speckled
    D X, 31
    Dactylagnus mundus, Giant sand-stargazer
    pectoral 15
    A 38
    LL 52
  • D continuous
    back: 8-9 dark saddles
    D IX,26
    Dactylagnus parvus, Dwarf sand-stargazer, Panamic stargazer
    pectoral 13
    A 31
    LL 46
  • eyes: on short stalks, no papillae
    body: 9-15 wide saddles, 2 stripes
    C rays branched
    Dactyloscopus amnis, Estuarine sand-stargazer, Riverine stargazer
    mouth pigmented
    no scales over LL arch
    no notch under C base
  • eyes: stalked, no papillae
    rear body + chevrons
    C rays unbranched
    Dactyloscopus byersi, Byers' sand-stargazer, Notchtail stargazer
    mouth unpigmented
    lip flaps: ~15, bottom ~21
    rear nostril near front nostril
    1 row scales over LL arch
    D ~28; A ~34
    notch under tail base
  • eyes on stalks, +/- tiny papillae
    mouth pigmented
    head & body speckled
    C: short, some rays branched
    Dactyloscopus elongatus, Slender stargazer
    chin projects
    lip skin flaps: ~15 above, ~ 28 below
    lot scales over LL arch
    D ~XIII, 34; A ~39
    no notch under tail base
  • eyes stalked, no papillae
    mouth unpigmented
    T bar on head; white saddles atop body
    C: rays unbranched
    Dactyloscopus fallax, False whitesaddle stargazer
    lip flaps branched: 11 top, 16 bottom
    no scales over front LL, 1 row over arch
    D ~XII, 25: A ~29
    notch under tail base
  • eyes on stalks, with papillae
    side - 3 dark stripes
    C: short, some rays branched, base - black spot
    Dactyloscopus fimbriata, Fringed sand-stargazer
    mouth pigmented
    chin projects
    lip skin flaps: ~17 above, ~ 25 below
    lot scales over LL arch
    D ~XII,33; A ~37
    no notch under tail base
  • eyes: stalked, no papillae
    mouth unpigmented
    rear body: no chevrons
    C rays unbranched
    Dactyloscopus heraldi, Baja sand-stargazer
    lip flaps: top ~12, bottom ~17
    rear nostril near front nostril
    no scales over LL arch
    D ~26; A ~32
    notch under tail base
  • eyes stalked, no papillae
    mouth unpigmented
    C: rays unbranched
    Dactyloscopus insulatus, Insular whitesaddle stargazer
    top head: white T; back - white saddles
    lip flaps (unbranched): 11 top, 15 bottom
    scales above LL, 1 row over arch
    D ~XII, 24: A ~28
    notch under tail base
  • eyes on stalks, no papillae
    top head: white T
    body: 7-9 saddles, 2 stripes
    C rays unbranched
    Dactyloscopus lacteus, Milky sand-stargazer
    no scales above LL arch
    notch under end tail base
  • eyes stalked, with papillae
    body: 12-15 narrow saddles; head spotted
    C rays mostly branched
    Dactyloscopus lunaticus, Moonstruck sand-stargazer
    mouth pigmented
    several rows scales over LL arch
    no notch under tail base
  • eyes stalked, no papillae
    nostrils: rear nostril opens behind front
    13-15 saddles, 2 stripes, nape mottled
    C: unbranched rays
    Dactyloscopus metoecus, Alien sand-stargazer, Mexican stargazer
    top lip: ~14 flaps
    1 row scales over LL arch
    notch under tail base
  • eyes stalked, no papillae
    body: 5-6 saddles
    eyes in dark mask, white T behind
    C: rays unbranched
    Dactyloscopus minutus, Small sand-stargazer, Tiny stargazer
    mouth unpigmented
    lip flaps; ~8 above, ~12 below
    no scales over LL arch
    notch under tail base
    LL 37-38
  • eyes stalked, no papillae
    top head white T; back - white saddles
    C: rays unbranched
    Dactyloscopus pectoralis, Whitesaddle stargazer
    mouth unpigmented
    lip flaps unbranched: 9 above, 14 below
    no scales over front LL
    D ~XII, 24: A ~28
    notch under tail base
  • eyes stalked, 1 papilla
    chin not strongly projecting
    dark saddles: nape 2, back 10
    C: rays branched
    Dactyloscopus zelotes, Imitator sand-stargazer
    mouth pigmented
    lip flaps: ~16 above, ~23 below
    scales over LL arch
    no notch under tail base
  • dark saddles & hour-glass bars
    lip flaps: lower only
    D finlet II + I-II free spines
    C + branched rays
    belly scaleless
    Gillellus arenicola, Sandy sand-stargazer, Sandloving stargazer
    lower jaw strongly projects, fleshy
    pectoral 12
    rear LL 28
  • body: ~ 7 dark saddles
    lip flaps: lower only
    D finlet III
    C + branched rays
    belly scaleless
    Gillellus chathamensis, Cocos sand-stargazer
    A 34-35
    rear LL 24
  • dark bar through eyes
    body: ~ 10 dark saddles
    lip flaps: lower only
    D finlet II + I-II free spines
    belly scaleless
    Gillellus ornatus, Ornate sand-stargazer
    chin not fleshy/protruding
    C + branched rays
    rear LL 24
  • ~ 10 dark saddles
    cheek to tail base: row white spots
    D XX-XXIII, finlet III
    D & C: spotted
    belly scaleless
    Gillellus searcheri, Searcher sand-stargazer
    lip flaps: lower only
    C + branched rays
    rear LL 9-13
  • body: ~ 7 dark saddles
    D finlet III
    A 33
    belly scaleless
    Gillellus semicinctus, Smooth-tip sand-stargazer, Halfbanded stargazer
    lip flaps: lower only
    pectoral 12
    C + branched rays
    rear LL 20
  • flank: row of several white spots
    3 black bars + ~ 12 black & white saddles
    D: II finlet + [I or (I+ I) free] + XVI-XIX
    C no branched rays
    Heteristius cinctus, Banded sand-stargazer
    both lips + flaps
    belly scaled
  • head conical; snout < eye
    body: 4 dark stripes
    Myxodagnus macrognathus, Long-jawed sand-stargazer
    top lip flaps 10
    A 37; pectoral 15
    D X
    LL: continuous or 2 pieces
  • head conical; snout < / = eye
    dark bar under eye
    back: 14-18 dark saddles
    flank: 3 stripes
    Myxodagnus opercularis, Gill's sand-stargazer, Dart stargazer
    lip flaps: ~7.5 top; 14 bottom
    D IX; A 36; pectoral 14
    LL continuous, 50
  • head conical; snout < eye
    dark stripes - top back & flank
    Myxodagnus sagitta, Arrow sand-stargazer
    top lip flaps 9
    A 35; pectoral 13
    D IX
    LL: 2 sections, 49
  • head conical; snout > eye
    no bar under eye
    back: no saddles
    LL continuous, 51
    Myxodagnus walkeri, Walker's stargazer
    lip flaps: ~11 top; 15 bottom
    D IX; A 36; pectoral 14
  • eye with papilla
    D finlet high, isolated
    body: 2 Y bars
    Platygillellus altivelis, Sailfin sand-stargazer
    LL 40
  • eye - no papilla
    D finlet low
    body- 4 dark H bars
    LL 47
    Platygillellus bussingi, Costarican sand-stargazer, Bussing's sand-stargazer
    preopercle scaleless
    lower lip 21-33 flaps
  • eye with papilla
    D1 low
    body: ~ 4 dark bars
    Platygillellus rubellulus, Shortfin sand-stargazer
    preopercle scaled
    lower lip 15-17 flaps
    shoulder: strong white bar
    LL 43