Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gillellus ornatus, Ornate sand-stargazer

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dark bar through eyes
body: ~ 10 dark saddles
lip flaps: lower only
D finlet II + I-II free spines
belly scaleless
chin not fleshy/protruding
C + branched rays
rear LL 24

Gillellus ornatus Gilbert, 1892

Ornate Stargazer, Ornate Sand Stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head moderate size; lower jaw tip not fleshy & not protruding; eyes not on stalks; lower lips with 4 skin flaps, none on top lips; tubular nostrils; dorsal fin origin on nape, before level of upper corner of operculum, an isolated lowe finlet of II spines at front, then I-II free spines, then main fin, II + I (or I + I) + IX-XI (total XII-XIV), 31 (29-33); segmented anal rays 35 (33-37); pectoral rays 12 (11-13); tail fin with some branched rays; lateral line continuous, bends down under dorsal elements 18-22; scales smooth; head, pectoral base and belly scaleless; total lateral-line scales 52 (49-57); scales in straight (posterior) part of lateral line 24 (22-26).

A dark bar through the eyes; 9 (8-10) dark bars across top of back down to flank midline, where ends are joined by a horizontal line of dark flecks, may have dark spots on back between bars; fins pale.

Size: 6 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms inshore & offshore.

Depth: 3-55 m.

Central Gulf of California.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Brooded
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Cortez province endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 6
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 55