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Species: Sciades parkeri, Gillbacker Sea Catfish

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head flat; snout v short
bone behind head shield- broad base, convex above, short, < D base-plate
plate before D - large saddle, no front notch
NO transverse skin flap between nostrils
2 pr tooth patches, fused into U
gill rakers- 2nd arch 19-21

Sciades parkeri (Trail, 1832)

Gillbacker Sea Catfish

Head rounded, flattened; snout very short, barely overhanging mouth, a little rounded when viewed from above; eye oval, small; bony head shield exposed, very rough at rear, smooth at front, extends forward to between eyes, without a central groove on top; bony process between head shield and pre-dorsal plate shorter than pre-dorsal plate behind it and broad, tapering, rounded above (not keeled); bony plate at front of base of dorsal fin large, saddle shaped, longer than wide, without a front notch; no large transverse skin fold between rear nostrils; mouth large, lips thin; three pairs of barbels (on both jaws and chin), top barbels with very thick bases, (reaching middle of anal fin in young); roof of mouth with two pairs of patches of conical teeth, front pair much smaller, touching and continuous with rear pair, side edge of rear patch not indented or notched, the entire set of 4 patches forming a U; gill opening wide, membranes not adhering to breast; gill rakers on 1st arch 17 (15-17), on second arch 15 (15-17), no rakers on rear of 1st 2 gill arches; pectoral soft rays 11 (10-12); tail fin deeply forked; a complete lateral line, with branches to top and bottom base of tail fin, no scales.

Yellow to grey to blue grey above, whitish below.

Reaches 190 cm.

Estuaries and coastal waters, lower reaches of rivers.

Depth range: 1-20 m?

Gulf of Paria, Venezuela, to northern Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 190
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20