Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gillellus chathamensis, Cocos sand-stargazer

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body: ~ 7 dark saddles
lip flaps: lower only
D finlet III
C + branched rays
belly scaleless
A 34-35
rear LL 24

Gillellus chathamensis Dawson, 1977

Cocos sand-stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head moderate size; eyes not on stalks; tip of lower jaw slightly protruding, rounded at front; lower lips only with skin flaps (4); tubular nostrils; dorsal fin origin on nape, before level of upper corner of operculum, an isolated finlet of III spines at front, then main fin, III + VIII-XII, 30 (28-32); segmented anal rays 34 (33-36); pectoral rays 13 (12-14);tail fin with some  branched rays; lateral line continuous, bends down just under dorsal elements 18-20 (17-21); scales smooth; head, pectoral base and belly scaleless; total lateral-line scales 52 (50-56), scales in straight (posterior) part of lateral line 24 (23-25).

Head whitish with an indistinct bar crossing eyes; body white, with 7 (7-8) dark-edged light grey to brownish saddles across back and upper half of body, may have dark spots on pale interspaces between saddles.

Grows to 3.8 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms.

Depth range 1-15 m.

Known only from Cocos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP oceanic island (s) endemic
  • All species
  • Cocos Island endemic
  • Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s) only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 3.8
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 15