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Reproduction

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No information was found on mating systems in Dactyloscopidae.

While no information was found on reproduction in Dactyloscopidae, blennies (which are in the same suborder Blennioidei) in general tend to lay relatively large eggs that adhere to a surface. In the case of sand stargazers, eggs may adhere to each other, as males carry them in two clumps under the pectoral fins.

Key Reproductive Features: sexual ; fertilization (External ); oviparous

Sand stargazers display a unique trait among fishes in that males guard eggs by carrying them in two balls, one in the “armpit” (axilla) of each pectoral fin.

Parental Investment: male parental care

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Behavior

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No information was found on communication in Dactyloscopidae. Because their eyes are placed on top of their heads, often on stalks, so as to remain uncovered by sand, it is logical to infer that they perceive their surroundings visually.

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Conservation Status

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There is no known conservation threat to any members of Dactyloscopidae.

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Life Cycle

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No information was found on development in Dactyloscopidae.

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Comprehensive Description

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Dactyloscopids derive their common name, sand stargazers, from their eyes, which protrude from the tops of their heads, sometimes on stalks. Sand stargazers usually remain burrowed into the sand with only the eyes, along with the snout and sometimes the top of the head, uncovered. Members of this family occupy shallow warm waters and are carnivorous. They are small, cryptic fishes and little is known about their behavior or reproductive habits. There are nine genera in the family and about 41 species.

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Benefits

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No specific information was found concerning any negative impacts to humans.

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Benefits

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No information was found on human importance of Dactyloscopidae.

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bibliographic citation
Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Associations

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Sand stargazers occupy a specific habitat, that is, sandy bottoms of shallow warm waters, and in that setting impact the tiny fishes and invertebrates that serve as their prey.

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Trophic Strategy

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Sand stargazers are carnivorous, lying in wait under the sand to attack small fishes and invertebrates.

Primary Diet: carnivore (Piscivore , Eats non-insect arthropods)

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Distribution

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Dactyloscopids, or sand stargazers, are found in tropical and warm temperate waters of the western hemisphere. The Atlantic Ocean (from the United States to Brazil) contains 17 species, and the Pacific Ocean (from the Gulf of California to Chile) contains 24.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); neotropical (Native ); atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Habitat

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Dactyloscopids live buried in the sand with only the eyes, along with the snout and sometimes the top of the head, uncovered. They usually occupy shallow warm water at depths between two and 15 m, but one species, Gillellus healae, has been found between five and 137 m. Some groups inhabit bare, open beaches in or behind the surge zone, but others are found exclusively in patches of sand that are near rocks, coral structures, or marl bottoms. A few species can be found in estuaries, and at least one enters fresh water.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; saltwater or marine

Aquatic Biomes: benthic ; coastal

Other Habitat Features: estuarine ; intertidal or littoral

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Life Expectancy

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No information was found on lifespan of dactyloscopids.

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bibliographic citation
Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Morphology

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Sand stargazers (family Dactyloscopidae) are small fishes adapted to burrowing in the sand. Their eyes are situated on the top of the head, sometimes on stalks, and their nostrils are tubular. They have upturned mouths, and fingerlike projections (fimbriae) line the mouth and gill covers, keeping sand out of the gills and mouth. These fish maintain water flow through the gills with a branchiostegal pump. Sand stargazers are covered with cycloid scales. The dorsal fin, which contains 7-23 spines and 12-36 soft rays, may be divided or continuous. The pelvic fins have three thickened rays with tips that are free from the fin membrane. The largest dactyloscopids reach 17 cm, but most are less than six cm. They are colored to blend in with their sandy environment: most are whitish or drab brown, and many have red-tinged or dark mottling along the back and head. (Click here to see a fish diagram)

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Associations

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Sand stargazers conceal themselves from predators by hiding under the sand. They are cryptically colored, so any exposed parts blend in well with the sand.

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

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bibliographic citation
Jonna, R. 2003. "Dactyloscopidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Dactyloscopidae.html
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Sand stargazer

provided by wikipedia EN

Sand stargazers are blennioids; perciform marine fish of the family Dactyloscopidae. Found in temperate to tropical waters of North and South America; some may also inhabit brackish environments. The giant sand stargazer (Dactylagnus mundus) is the largest at 15 cm in length; all other species are under 10 cm.

These blennies are named well: sand stargazers have protruding eyes on the top of their heads, fixed in an upward gaze, and may be on stalks. Their large mouths are also upturned. The dorsal fin is long and may or may not be continuous, with seven to 23 spines; the pelvic fins are situated below the throat and possess one spine. The anal fin is equally long and flowing. The mouth is fringed, and like the upper edge of the operculum (the gill cover), this fringe is divided into finger-like structures. The body is greatly elongated, and coloration is generally drab.

As their name would suggest, sand stargazers spend most of their time buried in sandy substrates waiting for unsuspecting prey; only the eyes, nose and mouth are usually visible. Their mode of respiration is also unique among the blennioids, using a branchiostegal rather than opercular pump; this is thought to be an adaptation to their largely sedentary, obscured lives. Sand stargazers generally stay within shallow (< 10 m) intertidal zones in areas protected from surges. Small invertebrates and fish make up the bulk of the sand stargazer's diet.

The family name Dactyloscopidae derives from the Greek words daktylos meaning "finger" (a reference to the divided mouth and operculum fringes) and skopein meaning "to watch".

See also

References

  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). "Dactyloscopidae" in FishBase. April 2013 version.
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Sand stargazer: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Sand stargazers are blennioids; perciform marine fish of the family Dactyloscopidae. Found in temperate to tropical waters of North and South America; some may also inhabit brackish environments. The giant sand stargazer (Dactylagnus mundus) is the largest at 15 cm in length; all other species are under 10 cm.

These blennies are named well: sand stargazers have protruding eyes on the top of their heads, fixed in an upward gaze, and may be on stalks. Their large mouths are also upturned. The dorsal fin is long and may or may not be continuous, with seven to 23 spines; the pelvic fins are situated below the throat and possess one spine. The anal fin is equally long and flowing. The mouth is fringed, and like the upper edge of the operculum (the gill cover), this fringe is divided into finger-like structures. The body is greatly elongated, and coloration is generally drab.

As their name would suggest, sand stargazers spend most of their time buried in sandy substrates waiting for unsuspecting prey; only the eyes, nose and mouth are usually visible. Their mode of respiration is also unique among the blennioids, using a branchiostegal rather than opercular pump; this is thought to be an adaptation to their largely sedentary, obscured lives. Sand stargazers generally stay within shallow (< 10 m) intertidal zones in areas protected from surges. Small invertebrates and fish make up the bulk of the sand stargazer's diet.

The family name Dactyloscopidae derives from the Greek words daktylos meaning "finger" (a reference to the divided mouth and operculum fringes) and skopein meaning "to watch".

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