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Species: Dactyloscopus insulatus, Insular whitesaddle stargazer

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eyes stalked, no papillae
mouth unpigmented
C: rays unbranched
top head: white T; back - white saddles
lip flaps (unbranched): 11 top, 15 bottom
scales above LL, 1 row over arch
D ~XII, 24: A ~28
notch under tail base

Dactyloscopus insulatus

Insular whitesaddle stargazer

Body compressed, tapering to tail; head large, flattened above, rounded and narrow at front; eyes protrusible, on stalks, without papillae; tubular nostrils; rear nostril opens near base of front nostril; both lips with skin flaps (usually unbranched), 11 (9-11) above, 15 (13-18) below; edge of operculum with 12 (8-16) skin flaps; dorsal fin origin on nape, before level of upper corner of operculum, front III-IV spines separate from fin and without membranes, XII (XI-XIII), 24 (23-26); anal II, 28 (27-30); pectoral usually 13 rays; notch under end of tail base; tail fin long (~16.5% SL), rays unbranched; lateral line continuous, bends down under last dorsal spine; scales smooth, head and belly scaleless; lateral line scales 42 (40-44); no scales above upper front part of lateral line, usually a single row above arch of that line.

Upper head pale brown, a broad white T shape blotch across top of rear part of head with forward extension to nearly between eyes; an oblique double bar (front bar dark, rear bar white) down and back from eye; usually a white blotch on upper rear part of operculum; inside mouth unpigmented: upper back grey-brown, with a series of ~7-10 white, dark-edged saddles along midline of back, sides paler, flecked with dark marks; often 2 dark stripes along straight rear part of lateral line and above anal fin.

Size: attains 5.6 cm.

Inhabits sand bottoms, including in tide pools.

Depth: 0.2-17 m.

The Revillagigedo islands.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Beach
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP oceanic island (s) endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s) only
  • Island (s)
  • Revillagigedo Islands endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5.6
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 17