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Species: Dactyloscopus byersi, Byers' sand-stargazer, Notchtail stargazer

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eyes: stalked, no papillae
rear body + chevrons
C rays unbranched
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

Dactyloscopus byersi Dawson, 1969

Notchtail stargazer, Byers' 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 skin flaps (branched in adult), 15 (13-18), strongly branched flaps on top lip, 21 (18-24) on lower lip; operculum with 17 (9-22) skin flaps; dorsal fin origin on nape, before level of upper corner of operculum, front IV (III-V) spines separate from fin and without membranes, XIV (XIII-XV), 28 (25-30); anal II, 34 (31-35); pectoral usually 13 rays; notch under end of tail base; tail fin long, rays unbranched; lateral line scales 47 (44-49); lateral line continuous, bends down under last dorsal spine; scales smooth, head and belly scaleless; 1 row of scales above upper front part of lateral line.

Nape & chin spotted or blotched, nape without T-shaped pale blotch; dorsal, anal and tail pale to shaded with brown; inside mouth unpigmented; 10-15 (up to 20) short dark saddles of varying lengths (absent in pale fish) along upper body, those joining a more or less distinct dark stripe along upper side, sides with faint central and lower stripes, with chevrons at rear.

Size: 8.3 cm.

Habitat: tide pools and coastal sandy areas.

Depth: 0-10 m.

The southeastern Gulf of California to Ecuador.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Beach
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10