Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Kathetostoma averruncus, Smooth stargazer

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large eyes
D no spines
body, D, C & pectoral: white blotches
opercular spine large, sharp

Kathetostoma averruncus Jordan & Bollmann, 1890

Smooth stargazer

Body short, thick, tapering to rear; head large, square, top horizontal, some of bones with spines; eye large, on top of head; mouth large, vertical, lips with fringe of papillae; chin without converging bony ridges; preopercle with 3 spines on its lower corner; a large venomous spine at upper edge of operculum; dorsal fin without spines; anal fin without spines; no scales.

Black, greenish-brown to grey above, paler below; tips of opercular spines yellowish; white dots on head, eye-sized white spots and blotches on body, and on dorsal, tail and pectoral fins; tail and pectoral fins with white borders.

Size: 32 cm.

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms.

Depth: 15-600 m.

California to the mouth of the Gulf of California to Peru, and the Galapagos.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 32
Depth Range Min
  • 15
Depth Range Max
  • 600