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Astroscopus guttatus

  (Redirected from Northern stargazer)

Astroscopus guttatus (northern stargazer) is a fish that can reach lengths of 22 inches (56 cm) and are located on the eastern shores between the states of North Carolina and New York in the United States. The northern stargazer can be found up to depths of 120 feet (37 m). Stargazers have a flat forehead with a lot of body mass up front near the mouth.

Northern stargazer
Northern Stargazer.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Trachiniformes
Family: Uranoscopidae
Genus: Astroscopus
A. guttatus
Binomial name
Astroscopus guttatus
Abbott, 1860



The northern stargazer has a blackish brown body with white spots that are of the same size all over its head and back. It has three dark horizontal stripes on its (white) tail. The mouth of the stargazer faces up so that it can ambush prey while hiding in the sandy bottoms of coastal bodies of water. The top of the stargazer has electric organs in the orbitae[2] which can generate and transmit an electric shock.


The northern stargazer lives primarily along the eastern seaboard of the United States. They bury themselves in the sand and wait for prey (usually smaller fish) to come by.[3] Their eyes are situated on top of the head and poke up through the sand, hence the name stargazer.[4] 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.

Life cycleEdit

The stargazer lays small, transparent eggs on the bottom of the bay. These eggs float to the surface after they are released. They hatch into larvae and grow up to 6–7 mm (0.24–0.28 in). 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). After this they swim to the bottom and grow into adults.


The northern stargazer was first described by Charles Conrad Abbott in 1860.[5][6]


  1. ^ Carpenter, K.E. (2015). "Astroscopus guttatus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T47153800A47461926. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  2. ^ U. Dahlgren & C. F. Silvester (1906). "The electric organ of the stargazer, Astroscopus (Brevoort)". Anatomischer Anzeiger. 29: 387–403.
  3. ^ Biology:
  4. ^ I. R. Schwab (2004). "If looks could kill…". British Journal of Ophthalmology. 88 (12): 1486. doi:10.1136/bjo.2004.057232. PMC 1772429. PMID 15587500.
  5. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Astroscopus guttatus" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
  6. ^ Charles C. Abbott (1860). "Description of a new species of Astroscopus, Brev., in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 12: 365.

External linksEdit