Range/Geographical Distribution: North Carolina south to the northern Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan.
Habitat: Sandy bottoms near shores.
Description: Body brownish with many small white spots. Pectoral fins black and lined in white. Three brown/black stripes on the tail.
Size: Can reach 22 inches in length.
Food: Eats small fish as they swim over the buried stargazer’s mouth.
Breeding: Spawning occurs during late spring and early summer. Females release small eggs that float to the surface.
Predators: Sharks and larger predatory fishes.
Conservation Status: No legal status.
Interesting Facts: Astroscopus means “one who aims at the stars” in Latin. Stargazers can create electrical currents using an organ located in a pouch behind their eyes. This electrical discharge reaches a maximum of 50 volts and is primarily used for defense rather than prey capture.
On the Coast: Southern stargazers can be found buried in the sand along coastal Georgia’s beaches and estuaries.