Save 97%. The top of the stargazer has electric organs in the orbitae which can generate and transmit an electric shock. The gill slit is narrow and drawn backwards and upwards into a short, baggy tube. SUBSCRIBE NOW. An easy way to tell these two species apart is to note the middle stripe on the tail. Reproduction Stargazers lay small, transparent eggs on the bottoms of bays. Masks are required at all times. So be … Donate. Northern stargazer (English), aranhuco (Portuguese), bezmek (Serbian), cabecudo (Portuguese), kurbaga baligi (Turkish), lychnos (Greek), pesce prete (Italian), rata (Spanish), skaber amerykanski (Polish), sterngucker (German), stjarnkikare (Swedish), and taivaantahystaja (Finnish). The juveniles will develop the characteristic patterns of the adults during the time spent in the sandy bays. My first encounter with a northern stargazer resulted in a pulse of electricity down my whole right arm!!!! The mouth of the stargazer faces up so that it can ambush prey while hiding in the sandy bottoms of coastal bodies of water. There are three dark, horizontal stripes on the tail. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. The electric organs begin to form when the larvae reach about 12-15 mm in length. The mouth of the stargazer faces up so that it can ambush prey while hiding in the sandy bottoms of coastal bodies of water. This tube carries waste water away from the fish and outside the surrounding sand. The Northern Stargazer has a face only a mother could love and an electric shock to boot. The eyes are capable of protruding for a short distance, appearing stalked, for a limited amount of time to allow the fish to gaze over the bottom. It's flattened body can grow to 22 inches in length, but it averages 8 to 18 inches in length. The northern stargazer has a blackish brown body with white spots that are of the same size all over its head and back. Learn what else we are doing to keep you safe. The northern stargazer, Astroscopus guttatus, is a benthic species, living most of its life on or under the bottom. This stout fish has a special organ just behind its eyes that produces an electric shock which it uses defensively, so caution is advised when handling. It can bury itself in seconds. As they grow, a bright yellow spot appears on the chin. Astroscopus guttatus (northern stargazer) is a fish that can reach lengths of 22 inches (56 cm) and is found on the Atlantic shores between the states of North Carolina and New York in the United States. Coloration Northern stargazer (English), aranhuco (Portuguese), bezmek (Serbian), cabecudo (Portuguese), kurbaga baligi (Turkish), lychnos (Greek), pesce prete (Italian), rata (Spanish), skaber amerykanski (Polish), sterngucker (German), stjarnkikare (Swedish), and taivaantahystaja (Finnish). The northern stargazer was first described by Charles Conrad Abbott in 1860.. Unlike most species of fish that bring water in through their mouths to breathe, the stargazer breathes through its nostrils. They bury themselves in the sand and wait for prey (usually smaller fish) to come by. The Northern Stargazer Astroscopus guttatus whiles away the long lazy days lying mostly buried by sand, the stargazy eyes on top of its head picking out prey – mostly small fish – to ambush and stuff into its bizarre YKK zip-mouth. Astroscopus is derived from the Greek word “astro” = star and the latin word “scopus” = mark at which to shoot. Once the prey is in range, the stargazer rises from the sand and in an instant swallows the fish whole. Its pectoral fins act as shovels, enabling the fish to bury itself in a matter of seconds. It is a dark blackish-brown with white spots on head and body, and striped fins, and it can grow to almost 22 inches long. Also, as stated, they do not ACTUALLY have teeth. It has three dark horizontal stripes on its (white) tail. Ecology.  Their eyes are situated on top of the head and poke up through the sand, hence the name stargazer. It is found inshore, at depths to 120 feet (36 m). Three dark, horizontal lines appear on its tail. Keep them dry, and don't touch the diamond on his head, you will be fine. According to the exceptionally cool ‘Monsters of the Deep’ (see credits), the stargazer shock is approximately 50 volts. These eggs hatch into small, transparent larvae that live in the water column. Save 97%. They also begin to acquire a black color that deepens with time.  The stargazer's scientific name is Astroscopus guttatus where Astroscopus means "one who aims at the stars" and guttatus translating into "speckled" – referring to the white spots on the fish's back. It then waits for dinner to unknowingly swim by, and it ambushes the prey. The IUCN is a global union of states, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations in a partnership that assesses the conservation status of species. True to its benthic nature, the northern stargazer spawns on the bottom during the late spring and early summer months. An adult stargazer may grow to nearly 2-foot of concealed eating machine. It has three dark horizontal stripes on its (white) tail. When the juveniles reach about a foot in length, they move offshore and become adults. The body is moderately elongate. The stargazer instead relies on its camouflage and lies in wait for a small fish to swim near it. The Northern Stargazers live primarily along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The top of the stargazer has electric organs in the orbitae which can generate and transmit an electric shock. Its main function is to protect the stargazer from anything that may pose a threat to the well being of the fish. Fishes in the Fresh Waters of Florida Gallery. The northern stargazer can be found up to depths of 120 feet (37 m). Food Habits Another Fun Fact: This fish will rapidly shake its body to slowly slide beneath the sand. The northern stargazer is not listed as endangered or vulnerable with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The northern stargazer, Astroscopus guttatus, closely resembles the southern stargazer in appearance and in life history. The electrical organ is not used to capture prey. This fish possesses a special talent: it is able to create weak electrical currents from a specialized organ located behind the eyes. They slowly grow a dark coloring and develop the electrical organs from eye muscles when they are 12–15 mm (0.5–0.6 in). If approached by a diver, it generally will not move unless disturbed. $1 for 3 months. Adults may reach 22 inches (56 cm) in length, but are more common at lengths of 8-18 inches (20-46 cm). Both of these pictures are of a Northern Stargazer. These pelagic larvae grow rapidly, feeding off the yolk sac until they reach about 6-7 mm in length. The nostrils are protected from sand grains by fleshy, comb-shaped fringes. Stargazers have a flat forehead with a lot of body mass up front near the mouth. $1 for 3 months. Juvenile stargazers tend to move inshore to sandy bays, where they may stay for several years. They bury themselves in the sand and wait for prey (usually smaller fish) to happen by. The northern stargazer is well adapted to life under the sand. They hatch into larvae which grow up to 6–7 mm (0.24–0.28 in). The eggs are small, transparent, and slowly float to the surface. (2006). The northern stargazer buries itself and then ambushes its prey! Top of head and body has small, closely spaced white dots. The eyes and nostrils are strategically located on the top of the head so that they will remain above the sand when the fish is buried. At this length the larvae will migrate to the bottom and become a true juvenile. Feeding. Pictures were sent in by different people. Its mouth and eyes are located on the top of its large head, facing upward. I dropped the fish and it escaped back into the water. The northern stargazer has a blackish-brown body with white spots that gradually get bigger from its head to its tail. An easy way to tell these two species apart is to note the middle stripe on the tail. Learn how and when to remove this template message, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T47153800A47461926.en, http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/StarGazerNorth/StarGazeNorth.htm, Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Astroscopus_guttatus&oldid=983378621, Articles needing additional references from August 2007, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 13 October 2020, at 22:27.