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Weeverfishes and Relatives: Trachinoidei

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Inshore Sand Lance (ammodytes Americanus): Species Accounts, Northern Stargazer (astroscopus Guttatus): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, WEE

INSHORE SAND LANCE (Ammodytes americanus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
NORTHERN STARGAZER (Astroscopus guttatus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Weeverfishes and their relatives live in the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. One species lives only in New Zealand.

Most weeverfishes and their relatives live in the sea close to shore and in estuaries (EHS-chew-air-eez), or the areas where rivers meet the sea, on sandy to muddy bottoms. Some live in burrows under coral. Others live in the deep ocean. Some hug the bottom of fast-flowing freshwater streams.

Weeverfishes and their relatives eat fishes, animal plankton, small crustaceans, and worms. Plankton is microscopic plants and animals drifting in water. Crustaceans (krus-TAY-shuns) are water-dwelling animals that have jointed legs and a hard shell but no backbone.

Only a few weeverfishes and their relatives are caught and sold for food. Some are caught for fishmeal and oil. People can be injured if they step on the sharp spines of weeverfishes and stargazers.

DID YOU KNOW?

The name "weeverfish" probably comes from the Anglo-Saxon word wivere, which means "viper." Weeverfish venom causes severe pain and sometimes fever, vomiting, and heart failure.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists one species of weeverfishes and their relatives as Endangered and one species as Vulnerable. Endangered means facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. Vulnerable means facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded Vertebrates