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Species: Stellifer melanocheir, Black stardrum

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head spongy, nape scales rough
D1 & pectorals black
C: rounded
roof of mouth pale
chin with 6 pores
preopercle: 2 spines
gill rakers 41-43
pectoral reaches A origin

Stellifer melanocheir Eigenmann, 1918

Black stardrum

Body oblong, compressed; head large, broad, skull cavernous, translucent, spongy to touch, wide between eyes;  snout blunt, projecting slightly beyond upper jaw; mouth large, opens almost at front, slight oblique; teeth in villiform bands, those in outer row of upper jaw enlarged; chin with 6 pores, central pair smaller, separated by a bony crest, no barbells; snout with 8 pores; margin of preopercle with 2 strong spines; gill rakers long and slender, 41-46; dorsal rays X + II-III, 22-26, deep notch between spiny and soft parts of dorsal fin; anal fin with short base II, 8-9, 2nd  spine strong, as long as 1st  ray; pectorals long, pointed, reach past anal origin; pelvic fins with a short filament; tail margin rounded; scales rough on body and nape, smooth on breast, head and fins; soft dorsal and anal fins covered with smooth scales; lateral line pores 45-46.

Yellow brown, sides with grey lines along scale rows; spiny dorsal and all of pectorals except lowest 2 rays black; soft dorsal, tail and anal dark; scales on sides and back with faint dark streaks; roof of mouth pale; inside surface of gill chamber with dark speckling.

Size: 15 cm.

Habitat: shallow coastal, including lagoons.

Depth: 1-30 m?

Colombia and Ecuador.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Beach
  • Estuary
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • No Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Panamic province endemic
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 15
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 30