Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Aspredinidae
(Banjo catfishes) > Aspredininae
Etymology: Platystacus: Greek, platys = flat, broad + Latin, acus = needle (Ref. 45335). More on author: Bloch.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 6.8 - 8.2; dH range: 12 - 35. Tropical; 22°C - 25°C (Ref. 2060)
Central and South America: Venezuela to northern Brazil (including the lower portions of coastal rivers).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 31.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 36695); common length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)
Occurs mainly in brackish water. Found on soft bottoms of shallow turbid water near river mouths. Reported to migrate from estuary into freshwater, but actual spawning apparently takes place in brackish water (Ref. 6868). The species has a peculiar mode of egg incubation wherein the female banjo catfish carries the eggs firmly attached to the underside of the body. This seems to be an adaptation to facilitate the oxygenation of the eggs in muddy environments. Reproduction probably occurs during the earlier part of the year (Ref. 35381).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Females carry their eggs and young attached to the ventral surface of the body.
Friel, J.P., 2003. Aspredinidae (Banjo catfishes). p. 261-267. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil. (Ref. 36695)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00288 (0.00117 - 0.00708), b=3.02 (2.81 - 3.23), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .