Sciades parkeri (Traill, 1832)
Gillbacker sea catfish
Sciades parkeri
photo by MNHN

Family:  Ariidae (Sea catfishes), subfamily: Ariinae
Max. size:  190 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 50 kg; max. reported age: 4 years
Environment:  demersal; brackish; marine; depth range 15 - 20 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Coastal rivers from Guyana to northern Brazil.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 1-1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7-7; Anal soft rays: 18-20; Vertebrae: 49-51. This species is distinguished by the following characters: in life, yellowish body; swim bladder divided into 3 chambers; shield-shaped nuchal plate, usually larger than the supraoccipital process; head shield exposed and granulated in orbital and postorbital regions; first 2 gill with no mesial gill rakers. Sciades parkeri can further be distinguished from sympatric congeners by the following: fleshy furrow connecting posterior nares absent (vs. present in S. couma, S. herzbergii and S. passany); moderately sized posterior chamber of swim bladder (vs. small in S. proops; absent in S. couma, S. herzbergii, S. passany); nuchal plate with no anterior notch (vs. anterior notched in S. proops, sometimes notched in S. herzbergii); palatal patches forming a U-shaped band (vs. transverse in S. passany, lateral edge on accessory patches not emarginated or shallowly notched; lateral edge with an angled and pronounced notch in S. proops) (Ref. 86589).
Biology:  Mainly found in turbid waters over muddy bottoms in coastal areas, estuaries and lower parts of rivers. Sexually mature after around two years of age. Upon hatching, the alevins are relatively large, approximately 6.0-6.5 cm (Ref. 35381). Marketed fresh and salted (Ref. 5217). Fish exported to Canada, USA, England, and Holland (Rayman Bedessee, pers. comm.).
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (VU); Date assessed: 17 August 2011 (A2bd) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:   

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