Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Platygillellus altivelis, Sailfin sand-stargazer

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eye with papilla
D finlet high, isolated
body: 2 Y bars
LL 40

Platygillellus altivelis Dawson, 1974

Sailfin sand-stargazer

Body elongate, compressed, tapering to tail; head robust, snout broadly rounded;   eyes not on stalks, with a triangular rear papilla; top and bottom lips with skin flaps, those equally abundant on top and bottom lips; tubular nostrils; dorsal fin originates on nape, with a high (2X height of rest of spines), III-spined front finlet that  is separate from main fin, III + XII-XIV, 15-17; segmented anal rays 25 (24-26); pectoral rays 13-15 (usually 14); pelvic fins inserted under throat, each with I, 3, rays thickened and free at the tips; tail fin with some branched rays; lateral line continuous, bends down under last dorsal spine; scales smooth; head and preoperculum naked, pectoral base scaled;  belly with a narrow band of scales along midline; lateral-line scales  40 (39-42); scales in straight (posterior) part of lateral line 11-14 (usually 12 or 13).

Whitish with a large pair of Y-shaped blackish bars on middle of side; 2 narrower blackish bars just behind head and across base of tail fin.

Size: reaches 4.4 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms.

Depth: 3-40 m.

Costa Rica and Panama.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Panamic province endemic
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Near threatened
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4.4
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 40