Common Stargazer

Kathetostoma laeve

Kathetostoma laeve - Common Stargazer (Family Uranoscopidae)
image_search Terms and anatomy

Size: 75 cm

Distribution: All SA coastal and gulf waters

Habitat: Sand or gravel bottoms

Depth: Shallow subtidal to 10+ metres

This ambush predator is often found buried in sand, with only its upturned eyes and mouth visible. It has a dark patch behind the eye, along with two dark "saddles" on its back and a dark tail. The tail and pectoral fins have a dark margin. Stargazers have a unique appearance, but the solid dark saddles distinguish this species from the Speckled Stargazer (Kathetostoma canaster), while the Fringed Stargazer (Ichthyscopus barbatus) has a dark patch that covers the eyes completely.