> Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes
learn only 3 things about them ...
| They have venomous spines! Don't touch or kick them!
Most of the fish is usually well hidden under the sand.
lure prey towards them with a filament in their mouths.
seen? This bizarre pop-eyed fish is sometimes seen on our
Northern shores, usually buried in sand bars and sandy shores near
seagrass areas. Sometimes, dead ones are seen washed ashore.
What are stargazers? Stargazers
belong to the Family Uranoscopidae. According to FishBase:
the family has 8 genera and 50 species found in the Atlantic, Indian
and Pacific oceans. One genus, Astroscopus, has electric organs!
Features: It can grow quite large. One stargazer we saw
was nearly 30cm long! A stargazer is basically a bulky head with a
tiny body. As its name suggests, it has bulbous eyes that stare fixedly
skyward. Its scientific name is derived from the Greek 'ourannos'
which means 'sky' and 'skopein' which means 'to watch'. It has a huge
mouth that also faces upwards, but set in a permanent frown. Although
some descriptions say there are two large spines near the pectoral
fins that can inject a painful toxin, others say these fishes lack
any venom-injecting spines.
does it eat? The fish lurks buried in sand, only its eyes peeking out and the huge mouth just beneath the sand. Here it lies in wait, for unsuspecting fishes, octopuses and squids to wander by. It is said that the fishes only emerge from hiding at night. Some
species have a worm-like filament on the floor of the mouth. This
bait is wriggled when the mouth is opened, to lure unwary victims
to their sudden deaths. The prey is sucked up whole into its enormous mouth that can extend outwards. (protrusible).
half buried in the sand.
Chek Jawa, Apr 03
Changi, Jul 11
Changi, Jul 11
Uranoscopidae recorded for Singapore
Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity
in red are those listed among the threatened
animals of Singapore from Ng, P. K. L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore.
+from our observation
Uranoscopus cognatus (Two-spined yellow-tail stargazer)