Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gillellus arenicola, Sandloving stargazer, Sandy sand-stargazer

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark saddles & hour-glass bars
lip flaps: lower only
D finlet II + I-II free spines
C + branched rays
belly scaleless
lower jaw strongly projects, fleshy
pectoral 12
rear LL 28

Gillellus arenicola Gilbert, 1890

Sandloving stargazer, Sandy sand-stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head moderate size; eyes not on stalks; tip of lower jaw fleshy, pointed, conical, strongly protruding; lower lips only with 4 skin flaps; tubular nostrils; dorsal fin origin on nape, before level of upper corner of operculum, a finlet of II (II-III) spines at front, then I-II free spines, then main fin, II-III + I-II + X-XII (total XIII-XV), 29 (27-31); segmented anal rays 35-36 (34-38); pectoral rays 12 (12-13); tail fin with some  branched rays;lateral line continuous, bends down between dorsal fin elements 15-16 (14-17); scales smooth; head, pectoral base and belly scaleless; total lateral-line scales 53 (51-55), scales in straight (posterior) part of lateral line 28 (27-29).

Whitish; back with about 7 short dark saddles alternating with ~6 dark hour-glass-shaped bars that extend to middle of side.

Size: grows to 5.5 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms.

Depth: 10-40 m.

Southern Baja California, and central Mexico to western Panama.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
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
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • 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
  • 5.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 40