Kathetostoma laeve (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Scientific Name:  Kathetostoma laeve  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Common Name:  Common Stargazer


Distribution:         Native to Southern Australia

Habitat:                  Sandy and silty bottoms, usually in sheltered bays or moderately exposed coastal areas       

Max Depth:            0 - 150 m (Bray, 2001)         

Size:                         75 cm                 

Colour:                   Body is greyish on top and paler underneath with two dark vertical bands or saddles across the back. A large dark smudge below the eye.  Markings fade with age.

Body:                      Large squarish, bony head, robust body, tapering to the tail.

                                 Head has upturned mouth, eyes on top of the head

                                Pectoral fins are large, with a stout spine on top of fin base 


                                  - Dorsal fin spines/rays: 16-17

                                 - Anal fin spines/rays: 14-15

                                 - Caudal fin rays: 11-13

                                 - Pectoral fin rays: 18-20

                                 - Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5     

Diet:                        Carnivore


Details:                   Nocturnal Animal

                                 Can be aggressive to divers.

                                  “A large spine projecting backwards above the gill opening is reportly venomous”                                        (Bray, 2001) 

                                  Under UV light the head looks like a scull.



 Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. (2021). FishBase. Kathetostoma laeve (Bloch & Schneider, 1801). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at: on 2021-08-06

 Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Common Stargazer, Kathetostoma laeve, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 08 Sep 2022,