Uranoscopus dollfusi (Dollfus’ stargazer)


Big head with the mouth opening on the upper side of the head, body getting smaller and thinner towards the tail. Black dorsal fin. They live solitary, usually hidden in the sand with everything except the eyes and mouth.


Unassessed by the IUCN, but found throughout the Western Indian Ocean.


Western Indian Ocean; Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. They inhabit sandy and muddy bottoms of lagoons and outer reefs, in a depth range of 5-46 meters.



Up to 24cm.

Prey / Predation

They feed on small fish and invertebrates. They lie hidden in the sand and lure their prey with a tentacle from its lower jaw. When the prey is close enough, they lunge forward and devour it.

Special features

Stargazers are difficult to spot because they are usually well hidden. Uranoscopus dollfusi resembles U. sulphureus, which has three dark bands across the body.