Uranoscopus sulphureus Valenciennes, 1832
Whitemargin stargazer
Uranoscopus sulphureus
photo by Mayes, B.

Family:  Uranoscopidae (Stargazers)
Max. size:  45 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 5 - 350 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Red Sea, Indonesia, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga. Recently recorded from Reunion (Ref. 53568).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 4-4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-13; Anal spines: 13-13. Recognized by the black first dorsal fin (Ref. 48636). Body with distinctive black spots. Respiratory valve inside lower jaw with a thread-like brownish appendage and several long filaments around is base. Upper edge of opercle ascending backward. Posterior nostril a slit-like pore or with a very low tubular valve. First dorsal fin with V spines (last one rudimentary). Only 1 basipterygial process. No cirrus on eye (Ref 42788).
Biology:  Inhabits reef flats and coastal bottoms (Ref. 9710) but is rarely seen because it lies buried in sand or mud most of the time, with only the eyes showing. When buried, the cirri on the edge of the mouth serve to keep out the sand during respiration. The oral lure is used to attract the prey within striking range of the mouth. The shoulder has a venomous cleithral spine; wounds can be serious.
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:  A single specimen collected at night on the reef flat at Nu'uuli (Ref. 592). Also Ref. 2334.


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