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: Günther.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range ? - 70 m (Ref. 6541), usually ? - 30 m (Ref. 6541). Tropical
Eastern Atlantic: coastal waters from Senegal to Angola (Ref. 3546, 3876, 7367, 57224). One record from Fernando Poo (Ref. 6541, 89460). Also reported from various river estuaries.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 27 - 28 cm
Max length : 85.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 33115); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2683)
soft rays: 13 - 14. Diagnosis: body elongated and rounded, head broad and only slightly flattened above, snout rounded, mouth inferior; osseous head shield coarsely rugose, fairly visible through the skin; occipital process prominently broad at base, tapering posteriorly, with a median keel; predorsal plate very rugose, short and crescent-shaped; premaxillary teeth villiform, forming a plate slightly curved; palatine teeth in two pairs of patches, an anterior subquadrate pair and a posterior elongated pair, the anterior one wider and continuous with the posterior patch; no gill-rakers on posterior (inner) face of the first and second branchial arches; total number of anterior gill-rakers: on 1st arch 17-22, on 2nd arch 18-23 (Ref. 3546, 7367, 57224, 81640). Dorsal and pectoral fins with a strong serrated, erectile spine; adipose fin well developed (Ref. 57224, 81640).
Mainly marine but frequently found in brackish estuaries, sometimes enters freshwater (Ref. 3876). Frequent in lagoons (Ref. 7367). Common during winter (Ref. 2683). Feeds on fish, benthic invertebrates, zooplankton and detritus (Ref. 28587). Wide range of diet including a high percentage of penaeid and other prawns, crabs, polychaetes, fish and molluscs (Ref. 57352, 81640). Eggs very few, spherical, very large (16-17 mm diameter); males practise buccal incubation (Ref. 57224) during which it seems the species continues to feed (Ref. 81640). Ornamental and sometimes considered aquaria fish (Ref. 27121), the fish is venomous and can be dangerous to humans (Ref. 12484).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 22 - 27.9, mean 26.2 °C (based on 64 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00851 (0.00401 - 0.01809), b=3.05 (2.87 - 3.23), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.50 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 7.1 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.15).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (55 of 100) .