Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gillellus searcheri, Searcher sand-stargazer

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~ 10 dark saddles
cheek to tail base: row white spots
D XX-XXIII, finlet III
D & C: spotted
belly scaleless
lip flaps: lower only
C + branched rays
rear LL 9-13

Gillellus searcheri Dawson, 1977

Searcher sand-stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head moderate size; eyes not on stalks; lower lips with skin flaps, none on top lips; 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 + XVII-XX (total XX-XXIII), 17 (16-19); segmented anal rays 31 (30-32); pectoral rays 13 (12-14);tail fin with some  branched rays; lateral line continuous, bends down under dorsal fin elements 13-18 (12-18);  scales smooth; head, pectoral base and belly scaleless; total lateral-line scales 68 (64-73); scales in straight (posterior) part of lateral line 11 (9-13).

Whitish with ~ 10-11 dark mottled saddles that tend to merge into on another across back and on upper half of sides; a row of white spots in pale interspaces along upper flank, another row along lower flank below dark bars; dorsal + tail fins spotted.

Size: reaches 3.5 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms.

Depth: 1-15 m.

Mexico (Islas Tres Marias and Nayarit) to Panama.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • 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
  • 3.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 15