Kathetostoma laeve

Common stargazer
Kathetostoma laeve
Kathetostoma laeve, Maria Island, TAS, Photo: Scott Ling
Kathetostoma laeve
Kathetostoma laeve, Hobart, TAS, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Kathetostoma laeve
Kathetostoma laeve, adult, St Leonards, VIC, Photo: Andrew Green
1 / 3
Kathetostoma laeve
Kathetostoma laeve
Kathetostoma laeve


Temperate Australasia


Distinctive greyish body with pale underside and two dark vertical bands across the body that fade with age. It is the only stargazer regularly seen by divers in southeastern Australia but is uncommon. As the bulldog appearance suggests, this species is quite pugnacious and has been known to attack divers.


Max Size: 75 cm

Sea Temperature Range: N/A

Depth: 0-60m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Rare (0.7% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney