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Species: Dactyloscopus amnis, Estuarine sand-stargazer, Riverine stargazer

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eyes: on short stalks, no papillae
body: 9-15 wide saddles, 2 stripes
C rays branched
mouth pigmented
no scales over LL arch
no notch under C base

Dactyloscopus amnis Miller & Briggs, 1962

Riverine stargazer, Estuarine sand-stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head large, flattened above, rounded and narrow at front; eyes protrusible, on short stalks, without papillae; tubular nostrils, rear nostril opens near base of front nostril; both lips with (usually unbranched) skin flaps, 13 (11-16) above, 18 (16-22) below; operculum with 14 (10-18) skin flaps; dorsal fin origin on nape, before level of upper corner of operculum, front IV (II-IV) spines separate from fin and without membranes, XII (XI-XIV), 25 (23-27); anal II, 30 (28-32); pectoral usually 13 rays; no notch under tail base; dorsal and anal fins joined by membranes to tail base; tail fin short (< 12% of SL) with branched rays; lateral line scales 42-45; lateral line continuous, bends down under last dorsal spine; scales smooth, head and belly scaleless; no scales above front part & arch (occasionally 1-2 scales) of lateral line.

Color variable: head lightly to heavily mottled with brown; inside mouth pigmented; 12 (9-15) dark bars, with narrower pale interspaces across top of body that are joined below by longitudinal stripe along upper back; flank with 2 stripes, along lateral line & above anal fin; fins pale or streaked with brown.

Size: 9.3 cm

Habitat: sandy areas oaround estuaries; also freshwater.

Depth: 0.1-5 m.

Sinaloa, Mexico, to Panama.

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  • Freshwater
  • Brackish
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Freshwater
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 9.3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5