Stargazer

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For other meanings of stargazer, see Stargazer (disambiguation).
Stargazer
Sketchbook of fishes - 26. Stargazer - William Buelow Gould, c1832.jpg
Common stargazer, Kathetostoma laeve, from the Sketchbook of fishes by William Buelow Gould
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Trachinoidei
Family: Uranoscopidae
Jordan & Evermann, 1898
Genera

Astroscopus
Genyagnus
Gnathagnus
Ichthyscopus
Kathetostoma
Pleuroscopus
Selenoscopus
Uranoscopus
Xenocephalus
See text for species.

Uranoscopus sulphureus
Eastern Stargazer, Kathetostoma laeve

The stargazers are a family, Uranoscopidae, of perciform fish that have eyes on top of their heads (hence the name). The family includes about 51 species (one extinct) in eight genera, all marine and found worldwide in shallow and deep saltwaters.[1]

In addition to the top-mounted eyes, a stargazer also has a large, upward-facing mouth in a large head. Their usual habit is to bury themselves in sand, and leap upwards to ambush prey (benthic fish and invertebrates) that pass overhead. Some species have a worm-shaped lure growing out of the floors of their mouths, which they can wiggle to attract prey's attention. Both the dorsal and anal fins are relatively long; some lack dorsal spines. Lengths range from 18 up to 90 cm, for the giant stargazer Kathetostoma giganteum.

Stargazers are venomous; they have two large venomous spines situated behind their opercles and above their pectoral fins. The species within the genera Astroscopus and Uranoscopus can also cause electric shocks. Astroscopus species have a single electric organ consisting of modified eye muscles, while Uranoscopus species have theirs derived from sonic muscles.[2] They are some of the few marine bioelectrogenic bony fishes, the other being the striped catfish.[3] These two genera within stargazers are out of eight total independent evolutions of bioelectrogenesis.[2] They are also unique among electric fish in not possessing specialized electroreceptors.[4]

Genera and species[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Plio. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene Astroscopus Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Plio. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene

References[edit]

  • Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Uranoscopidae" in FishBase. May 2006 version.
  • Gomon, M.F. & Roberts, C.D. (2011). "A second New Zealand species of the stargazer genus Kathetostoma (Trachinoidei: Uranoscopidae)." Zootaxa 2776: 1-12.
  1. ^ Bray, Dianne. "Family URANOSCOPIDAE". Fishes of Australia. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Alves-Gomes, J.A. (2001). "The evolution of electroreception and bioelectrogenesis in teleost fish: a phylogenetic perspective". Journal of Fish Biology 58 (6): 1489–1511. doi:10.1006/jfbi.2001.1625. 
  3. ^ Baron, V. (2009-12-01). "Electric discharges of two species of stargazers from the South China Sea (Uranoscopidae, Perciformes)". Journal of Ichthyology 49 (11): 1065–1072. doi:10.1134/S0032945209110058. 
  4. ^ Alves-Gomes, J. A. (2001). "The evolution of electroreception and bioelectrogenesis in teleost fish: a phylogenetic perspective". Journal of Fish Biology 58 (6): 1489–1511. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2001.tb02307.x. 
  5. ^ Carnevale, Godfrey & Pietsch, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(6):1200-1209. 2011 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/039.031.0608 "Stargazer (Teleostei, Uranoscopidae) Cranial Remains from the Miocene Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, U.S.A. (St. Marys Formation, Chesapeake Group)" [1]

External links[edit]

External video
Stargazer lunges from sandYouTube
Little Red Cardinalfish gets eaten by hidden Stargazer!YouTube