Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Dactyloscopus minutus, Small sand-stargazer, Tiny stargazer

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eyes stalked, no papillae
body: 5-6 saddles
eyes in dark mask, white T behind
C: rays unbranched
mouth unpigmented
lip flaps; ~8 above, ~12 below
no scales over LL arch
notch under tail base
LL 37-38

Dactyloscopus minutus Dawson, 1975

Tiny Stargazer, Small Sand-stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head large, flattened above, rounded and narrow at front; eyes protrusible, on long stalks, without papillae; tubular nostrils, rear nostril opens behind front nostril; both lips with skin flaps (unbranched), 8 (6-12) above, 12 (10-14) below; edge of operculum with 7 (6-9) skin flaps; dorsal fin origin on nape, before level of upper corner of operculum, front III (II--IV) spines separate from fin and without membranes, XI (X-XII), 22 (21-24); anal II, 26 25-27); pectoral usually 13 rays; notch under end of tail base; tail fin rays unbranched; lateral line scales 37 (36-38); lateral line continuous, bends down under last dorsal spine; scales smooth, head and belly scaleless; no scales above front part of lateral line.

Inside mouth unpigmented; eyes in dark mask, with broad T-shaped or triangular white blotch behind; 5-6 (4-7) dark saddles along upper back; side with 2 dark stripes; dorsal and anal pale; tail pale, with dark blotch at base.

Size: 3 cm.

Habitat: tide pools and coastal sandy areas.

Depth: 1-15 m.

Tres Marias Islands (Mexico) to Panama; the Revillagigedos Islands.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 3
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 15