Southern Star gazer (Astroscopus y-graecum)

Southern Star gazer (Astroscopus y-graecum)

Stargazer, stargazer, aniquim, miracielo pintado, uranoscope tachete
Southern Stargazer

Also known as … stargazer, aniquim, miracielo pintado, uranoscope tachete

Description …

Stargazers bury into the sand with shovel like pectoral fins.  They can look straight up waiting for prey to swim by and breathe through nostrils on their head.  They have an organ just above the eyes that can produce an electrical charge for defense against predators.  Not a good idea to touch them there by any means.  They have a blackish brown body covered with white spots that increase gradually in size towards the rear of the body.  The white spots are widely spaced on top of the head and body.  There are three dark, horizontal stripes on the tail.  The middle stripe does not extend pass the tail.  This is the difference between the southern and northern Stargazer (Astroscopus guttatus).  On the northern stargazer the middle stripe extends down the rear portion of the body from the tail.  

Northern Stargazer, Astroscopus guttatus, aranhuco, bezmek, cabecudo, kurbaga baligi, lychnos, pesce prete, skaber amerykanski, rata, sterngucker, stjarnkikare, taivaantahystaja
Northern Stargazer

When buried in the sand the fish can look over the bottom by extending its eyes giving them a stalked appearance.  The nostrils and eyes protrude above the sand, the nostrils are protected by fleshy comb shaped fringes.  The mouth also has these fringes to keep sand out while it is buried.  Their gill slit is narrow and drawn backwards and upwards into a short baggy tube, which is used to carry waste water away from the fish and outside the surrounding sand.
Stargazers will feed on small minnows and will hit baits such as cut fish, squid, clam, crab, and fishbites.  They have even been known to hit lures working the bottom.

Delaware Creel Limit …  None   





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