Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Dactylagnus mundus, Giant sand-stargazer

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D continuous
back speckled
D X, 31
pectoral 15
A 38
LL 52



Dactylagnus mundus Gill, 1863

Giant sand-stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head large, deep, bluntly rounded at front, lower jaw not pointed; both lips with skin flaps, 12-21 on top lip; eyes not stalked; tubular nostrils; top corner of operculum with fringe of 8-17 slender flaps; dorsal fin continuous, origin usually behind anal origin, X (VIII-XII), 31 (28-34); anal II, 35-41 (usually 38); pectoral broad-based, long, 14-16 (usually 15) rays; tail fin with 10 branched rays; tail base without notch underneath; lateral line continuous, bends down under 6th-8th  dorsal spine; scales smooth, 2-3 rows between apex of lateral line arch and dorsal fin; head and belly scaleless; lateral line scales 52 (48-56), 33-39 on straight part.

Color variable; upper body light tan to brownish, flecked, without strongly defined bars or blotches; white below, abdomen and side of head silvery; either 4-5 indistinct bars between eyes and dorsal fin, or spotted, or with dense reticulations; inside mouth pigmented; dorsal and tail and upper pectoral shaded to spotted; juveniles with 12-14 bars on upper back, series of distinct blotches just above midline of side.

Size: 16.5 cm.

Habitat: beaches and sandy areas.

Depth: 0.5-15 m.

Central Baja California and the Gulf of California to Panama; doubtfully in the Galapagos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 15
Length Max
  • 16.5