Common Stargazer, Kathetostoma laeve (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


Other Names: Banded Stonelifter, Barred Stargazer, Catfish, Eastern Stargazer, Southern Stargazer, Stonelifter

A Common Stargazer, Kathetostoma laeve. Source: Rudie Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

Summary:

A large greyish-brown to tan coloured stargazer, often with two dark saddle-like bands across the back, and white margins to the pectoral and caudal fins.

Common stargazers have huge, square heads and large upturned mouths giving an almost "bulldog"-like appearance.

Great video of a Common Stargazer under Portsea Pier in Port Phillip, Victoria.

Video of  Common Stargazers ambushing their prey in Port Phillip, Victoria.

Common Stargazers under Blairgowrie Marina, Port Phillip.


Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Kathetostoma laeve in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/756

Common Stargazer, Kathetostoma laeve (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to southern Australia, from about Southport, Queensland, to Esperance, Western Australia and around Tasmania. Common in bays, estuaries and inshore coastal waters with sandy bottoms, at 1-60 m.

Features

Dorsal fin 16-17; Anal fin 14-15; Caudal fin 11-13; Pectoral fin 18-20; Pelvic fin I, 5.
Body robust, tapering towards the tail; head huge, squarish, bony; mouth large, upturned, giving an almost "bulldog"-like appearance; eyes on top of the head as the common name suggests; pectoral fins large, with a stout spine on top of fin base.

Size

To 75 cm TL

Colour

Body dull greyish to brownish on top, paler below, with two dark bands or saddles across the back and a large dark smudge below the eye; markings becoming indistinct with age.

Feeding

Carnivores - ambush predators that often lie buried in the sandy bottom with only their eyes protruding.

Remarks

Common stargazers may be aggressive, and the large spines above the gill opening are reported to be venomous.

Species Citation

Uranoscopus laevis Bloch & Schneider, 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum: 47, pl. 8. Type locality: New South Wales (as "New Holland").

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Common Stargazer, Kathetostoma laeve (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

References


  • Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin 584 pp. 110 pls.
  • Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Uranoscopidae. pp. 718-725, figs 630-635 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.
  • Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.
  • Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Uranoscopidae (pp. 678-683) in Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter. Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland : Chatswood, Australia.
  • Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.
  • Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.
  • May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.
  • Quick Facts


    CAAB Code:37400003

    Danger:Venomous spines above gills

    Depth:0-60 m

    Habitat:Sandy, shelly bottoms

    Max Size:75 cm TL

    Native:Endemic

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