Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 April 2018 | 10(5): 11697–11700





On the occurrence of the rare Long-nosed Stargazer Ichthyscopus lebeck (Bloch & Schneider, 1801) (Uranoscopidae) in the coastal waters off Visakhapatnam, India


Govinda Rao Velamala 1 & Muddula Krishna Naranji 2


1,2 Department of Marine Living Resources, Andhra University, Waltair Junction, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530003, India

1, 2 (corresponding author)





doi: |  ZooBank:


Editor: A. Biju Kumar, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India.        Date of publication: 26 April 2018 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # 3520 | Received 27 May 2017 | Final received 29 December 2017 | Finally accepted 30 March 2018


Citation: Velamala, G.R. & M.K. Naranji (2018). On the occurrence of the rare Long-nosed Stargazer Ichthyscopus lebeck (Bloch & Schneider, 1801) (Uranoscopidae) in the coastal waters off Visakhapatnam, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(5): 11697–11700;


Copyright: © Velamala & Naranji 2018. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: None.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: The authors very much thankful to the Head, Marine Living Resources department, College of Science and Technology, Andhra University for providing facilities during the study period.





Fishes of the family Uranoscopidae are commonly known as stargazers.  This family comprises eight genera, 53 species (Springer & Bauchot 1994; Kishimoto 2001; Nelson 2006; Eschmeyer & Fong 2012; Froese & Pauly 2015).  Ichthyscopus lebeck was originally described from Tharangambadi, India by Bloch & Schneider in 1801.  It has subsequently been recorded from various parts of India (in the early days often its junior synonym Ichthyscopus inermis or Anema inerme), e.g., by Cuvier & Valenciennes (1829), GŸnther (1860), Day (1865) and Day (1876) and subsequent papers, mostly from southern India, but from Digha Coast of West Bengal Goswami (1992), Laccadives coast (Murty 1969), Manna & Goswami (1985), from Chennai coast Chatterjee et al. (2000); north as Digha Yennawar et al. (2012) and Venkataraman & Sivaperuman  (2014) studied marine faunal diversity in India.

Two specimens were caught by using a gill net from Visakhapatnam coastal waters, east coast of India (Image 1) during the month of March 2013.  Body measurements and meristic data were taken in fresh condition.  Standard length was measured from the tip of the snout to caudal fin base.  In presenting the meristic and body measurements (expressed as percentage of SL or HL).  Colour was noted in fresh condition. Morphometric and meristic characters and species identification followed by (Hubbs & Lagler 1947 ; Gomon & Johnston 1999).  The specimens were preserved in 5% formalin and deposited in Marine Living Resource department Museum, Andhra University (Voucher no: AU/ DMLR /124/2014).


Class: Pisces

Sub-class: Teleostei

Order: Perciformes

Family: Uranoscopidae

Species: Ichthyscopus lebeck

Ichthyscopus lebeck

(Bloch & Schneider, 1801) (Images 2–4)


Description based on two specimens measuring 175–192 mm, SL.

Morphometric data of two specimens given in Table

Body moderately, slightly round form; head cuboid in shape, with internal nares. Head region covered with ridges.  Mouth moderately large in size; teeth palatine with vomer; eyes are small in size, directed dorsally placed on head. Upper margin of nasal valves fringed.

 Dorsal fin with two spines; pectoral fin rays thick fleshy and knife shaped; upper rays longer than the middle rays; pelvic fin with six rays; caudal fin truncate.  A respiratory groove present in between upper part of the cleithrum and pectoral fin which connects the gill opening; posterior edge of opercle fringed and an elongate angular flap with papillae behind shoulder; mid portion of ventral a dermal flap present on margin of belly region; body with three rows of spots present; lateral line reaches to rear end of caudal fin; body covered with embedded cycloid scales.

Colour: Body canary yellowish with buffy-light brown marking along the sides; anterior portion of the dorsal fin with canary yellowish; base of the dorsal fin or below half of the dorsal fin with light brownish colour; lower part of the body with white and pale yellow in colour; inner and outer side of the pectoral and pelvic fins with canary yellow with white margin.  Anal and ventral part of the body canary yellowish in colour; caudal fin brownish and pale yellow with dark extremities.  Head light brownish; interorbital space with small unconscious white spots; opercle margin with brownish vermiculation; with small brown vermiculated linings present.

Morphometric measurements, meristic counts and colour of the present specimen were similar to the specimen examined by Munro (1955).  According to Munro (1955)  III-IV dorsal spines; 16–18 dorsal soft rays; anal 16–19 and pectoral rays 18 and according to Froese & Pauly (2015) dorsal II spines, 16–20 soft rays, anal soft rays 17–18 and pelvic fin rays I,5 where as in the present study dorsal fin rays 18; Anal 17; pectoral fin rays 18 present. I. lebeck is characterized by its obliquely elongated posterior nostrils (Kishimoto 2001).  The species of this genus Ichthyoscopus has a more circumtropical in distribution and occur in warm and temperate waters from estuaries to the deep sea, mostly caught in traditional catches wide spread in mostly recorded from southern coasts of India, Singapore and Ceylon.

This is a rare species recorded from Visakhapatnam coastal waters.






Table 1. Meristic counts comparison table of I. lebeck from different authors




Anal fin rays

Pectoral rays

Pelvic fin rays

Caudal fin rays

Yannawar et al. (2012)


I, 17


I, 6


Krishna & Rao (2017)

II, 18

I, 18







Table 2. Morphometric data of species of Ichthyscopus lebeck represented in the catches of Visakhapatnam, India


Standard length in mm SL

Ichthyscopus lebeck n= 2

Yannawar et al. (2012)





As percentage of standard length


Total length



Body depth



Head length



Pre dorsal distance



Pre pectoral distance



Pre pelvic  distance



Pre anal distance



Dorsal  base



Pectoral base



Anal  base



Ventral base



1st Dorsal ray height



9th dorsal ray height



Pectoral length



Soft Pelvic fin length



1st Anal soft ray height



Last soft anal ray height



Percentage of head length%


Head depth



Head width



Eye diameter



Pre orbital distance



Post orbital  distance



Inter orbital distance



Maxilla  width



Maxilla  length



Snout length



Caudal peduncle depth



Inter fossa length



Inter fossa width








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