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Arius gigas  Boulenger, 1911

Giant sea catfish
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Arius gigas
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes (Catfish) > Ariidae (Sea catfishes) > Ariinae
Etymology: Arius: Greek, arios, areios = dealing with Mars, warlike, bellicose (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Boulenger.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic.   Tropical

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: Ouémé and Volta rivers, and greater part of the Niger River basin, including the Benue River downstream Gauthiot Falls (Ref. 57224)

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 165 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6541); max. published weight: 50.0 kg (Ref. 3799)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7; Anal soft rays: 11 - 13. Diagnosis: body elongated and rounded; head broad and only slightly flattened above, snout rounded (slightly pointed in small specimens); mouth inferior; maxillary barbels just reaching to pectoral fin bases, mandibular ones being shorter; osseous head shield, fairly visible through the skin, coarsely rugose with a very slight median keel; occipital process moderately broad at base and truncated posteriorly (Ref. 57224). Base of supra-occipital process moderately wide (Ref. 2683). Predorsal plate rugose, crescent-shaped; premaxillary teeth villiform forming 2 plates meeting at midline; palatine teeth in 2 large subtriangular patches which are only slightly separated at midline; no gill-rakers on posterior face of the 1st and 2nd arches; total number of anterior gill-rakers on first arch 18 to 21, on second arch 18 to 20; dorsal and pectoral fins with a strong osseous, erectile spine with anterior rim granulose and posterior rim serrated; long dorsal fin spine preceded by a very short one; adipose fin well developed; caudal fin forked, upper lobe slightly elongated (Ref. 57224). Coloration: bluish grey on the upper part, lightening progressively towards belly which is white; distal rim of fins blackish (Ref. 57224).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in large rivers and their estuaries (Ref. 2683). Probably exceeds 165 cm (Ref. 3876). Males practise buccal incubation (ref. 57224).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Ferraris, Jr., Carl J. | Collaborators

Schneider, W., 1990. FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Field guide to the commercial marine resources of the Gulf of Guinea. Prepared and published with the support of the FAO Regional Office for Africa. Rome: FAO. 268 p. (Ref. 2683)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 58010)




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00479 (0.00252 - 0.00908), b=3.12 (2.95 - 3.29), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.8   ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (82 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.