Galeichthys feliceps Valenciennes, 1840
White barbel
photo by Alvheim, O./Institute of Marine Research (IMR)

Family:  Ariidae (Sea catfishes), subfamily: Galeichthyinae
Max. size:  55 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; depth range - 120 m, amphidromous
Distribution:  Southeast Atlantic: Walvis Bay, Namibia to the vicinity of East london, South Africa (Ref. 85159). Records from Guinea-Bissau as Tachysurus feliceps and from Guinea as Arius feliceps are erroneous.
Diagnosis:  Vertebrae: 51-52. This species is distinguished by the following characters: head longer than, or nearly as long as, broad; tooth patches are posterior to premaxillary band touch at midline; relatively long and thin maxillary barbel, extending at least to pectoral fin spine origin (longer in females); dorsal fin spine length more than 70% of its height; pectoral-fin spine at vertical extends at most to hind edge of dorsal fin base; deeply forked caudal fin with moderately slender, with pointed lobes, upper lobe longer; caudal peduncle approximately twice as long as deep; 11-14 gill-rakers on anterior face of first arch; upper two-thirds of body darkened, some lateral speckling and belly stark white; median anterior cranial fontanelle (of exposed skull) elongate and bullet-shaped; smooth and shallow median cranial depression, deepest posteriorly at frontal/supraoccipital suture. 10-12 pectoral fin rays; 51-52 (17 precaudal, 34-35 caudal) total vertebrae. Dimorphism of posterior (humeral) process of cleithrum obvious externally, in females, fan-shaped, in males triangular (Ref. 85159).
Biology:  Generally found in large shoals on muddy bottoms in turbid waters, usually on the coastline and estuaries. Also found in rivers (Ref. 3976). Feed on crayfish, small fish, and crabs (Ref. 27121). Considered a nuisance of shore and ski-boat anglers in southern Africa as little else is caught (Ref. 12484). Spines are poisonous and wounds should be treated immediately. Marketed smoked (Ref. 36731).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  venomous
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Bailly, Nicolas - 29.11.13
Checked by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 18.05.94

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