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Author: Sauvage, 1874

Benthophilus stellatus Sauvage, 1874

Diagnosis: see genus; head very broad, depressed. Cheek flap behind angle of jaws. Body with 3 longitudinal rows of spinulose plates, upper 26-28 (25-30), ventral 20-22 (18-25). Dl III-IV; D2 I + 7-8; A I + 7-8; P 15-17. Vertebrae 28. Colour: body with about 5 transverse dark bands, forming, in dorsal view, 3 circular markings, around first dorsal rear part of second dorsal and base of caudal fin. Size: to 13.5 cm (males) and 11.0 cm (females).

Habitat: freshwater, in muddy reaches of rivers, and brackish water, sand and shell debris. Food: molluscs, crustaceans, insect larvae, small fishes. Reproduction: May-June (Sea of Azov); fecundity 700-2,500 at 5.5-8.5 cm SL.

Distribution: Black Sea, Sea of Azov and Caspian rivers and estuaries.

Subspecies

Benthophilus stellatus stellatus: head without median frontal indentation; predorsal plates in rows; Black Sea.
Benthophilus stellatus leobergius lljin, 1949; head without frontal indentation; predorsal plates scattered; Caspian Sea.
Benthophilus stellatus casachiens Rahimov, 1978; head with median frontal indentation; Caspian Sea.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Stellate tadpole-goby (Benthophilus stellatus)