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Superregnum : Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Superclassis/Classis: Actinopterygii
Classis/Subclassis: Actinopteri
Subclassis/Infraclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Megacohors: Osteoglossocephalai
Supercohors: Clupeocephala
Cohors: Euteleosteomorpha
Subcohors: Neoteleostei
Infracohors: Eurypterygia
Sectio: Ctenosquamata
Subsectio: Acanthomorphata
Divisio/Superordo: Acanthopterygii
Subdivisio: Percomorphaceae
Series: Eupercaria
Ordo: Uranoscopiformes

Familia: Uranoscopidae
Genera (9): Astroscopus – Genyagnus – Gnathagnus – Ichthyscopus – Kathetostoma – Pleuroscopus – Selenoscopus – UranoscopusXenocephalus

Imamura, H. & Odani, K. 2012. An overview of the phylogenetic relationships of the suborder Trachinoidei (Acanthomorpha: Perciformes). Ichthyological Research, published online: 24 August 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s10228-012-0304-0 Reference page.
Okamura, O.; Kishimoto, H. 1993: Selenoscopus turbisquamatus, a new genus and species of uranoscopid fish from Japan and the Norfolk Ridge. Japanese journal of ichthyology, 39: 311–317. PDF
Roberts, C.D.; Paulin, C.D.; Stewart, A.L.; McPhee, R.P.; McDowall, R.M. (compilers) 2009: Checklist of New Zealand Chordata: living lancelets, jawless fishes, cartilaginous fishes, and bony fishes. Pp. 527-536 in Gordon, D.P. (ed.) New Zealand inventory of biodiversity. Volume 1. Kingdom Animalia. Radiata, Lophotrochozoa, Deuterostomia. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch, New Zealand. ISBN 978-1-877257-72-8


Uranoscopidae and its species in FishBase,
Froese, R. & Pauly, D. (eds.) 2022. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication, www.fishbase.org, version 08/2021.
Genera of Uranoscopidae (including synonyms) in Catalog of Fishes, Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. & van der Laan, R. (eds.) 2022. Catalog of Fishes electronic version.

Vernacular names
čeština: Nebehledovití
English: armourhead stargazers
ไทย: ปลาสตาร์เกเซอร์
Türkçe: Kurbağa balığı

The stargazers are a family, Uranoscopidae, of perciform fish that have eyes on top of their heads (hence the name). The family includes about 51 species (one extinct) in eight genera, all marine and found worldwide in shallow and deep saltwaters.[1]

In addition to the top-mounted eyes, a stargazer also has a large, upward-facing mouth in a large head. Their usual habit is to bury themselves in sand, and leap upwards to ambush prey (benthic fish and invertebrates) that pass overhead. Some species have a worm-shaped lure growing out of the floors of their mouths, which they can wiggle to attract prey's attention. Both the dorsal and anal fins are relatively long; some lack dorsal spines. Lengths range from 18 up to 90 cm, for the giant stargazer Kathetostoma giganteum.

Stargazers are venomous; they have two large venomous spines situated behind their opercles and above their pectoral fins. The species within the genera Astroscopus and Uranoscopus can also cause electric shocks. Astroscopus species have a single electric organ consisting of modified eye muscles, while Uranoscopus species have theirs derived from sonic muscles.[2] These two genera within stargazers are out of eight total independent evolutions of bioelectrogenesis.[2] They are also unique among electric fish in not possessing specialized electroreceptors.[3]

Stargazers are a delicacy in some cultures (the venom is not poisonous when eaten), and they can be found for sale in some fish markets with the electric organ removed. Stargazers are ambush predators which camouflage themselves and some can deliver both venom and electric shocks. Ichthyologist Dr. William Leo Smith playfully called them "the meanest things in creation."[4]


Deepwater stargazer
(Kathetostoma nigrofasciatum)

Northern stargazer
(Astroscopus guttatus)

Whitemargin stargazer
(Uranoscopus sulphureus)

Southern stargazer
(Astroscopus y-graecum)

Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Uranoscopidae" in FishBase. May 2006 version.
Gomon, M.F.; Roberts, C.D. (2011). "A second New Zealand species of the stargazer genus Kathetostoma (Trachinoidei: Uranoscopidae)". Zootaxa. 2776: 1–12. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.2776.1.1.

Bray, Dianne. "Family URANOSCOPIDAE". Fishes of Australia. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
Alves-Gomes, J.A. (2001). "The evolution of electroreception and bioelectrogenesis in teleost fish: a phylogenetic perspective". Journal of Fish Biology. 58 (6): 1489–1511. doi:10.1006/jfbi.2001.1625.
Alves-Gomes, J. A. (2001). "The evolution of electroreception and bioelectrogenesis in teleost fish: a phylogenetic perspective". Journal of Fish Biology. 58 (6): 1489–1511. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2001.tb02307.x.
Grady, Denise (August 22, 2006). "Venom Runs Thick in Fish Families, Researchers Learn". New York Times. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013.

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