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Species: Ariopsis canteri, Cazon Sea Catfish

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head groove short, not quite reaching eye level
gill rakers: 1st arch 17-20, 2nd arch 19-24, 36-44 combined
rear edge 1st 2 gill arches - with rakers
female: pads on pelvic bases
pelvics pale

Ariopsis canteri Acero AA P, Betancur-R R & Marceniuk AP, 2017

Cazon Sea Catfish

Body robust; head rounded, only slightly flattened; snout overhangs mouth; shield on top of head very rough, extending to between center of eyes; top of head with a short longitudinal groove that does not reach forward to between eyes; bony process behind head shield broad at base, narrowing at rear, slightly keeled; bony plate before base of dorsal fin spine a large crescent with a blunt front edge; 2 pairs of close-set nostrils; no fleshy furrow extends across snout and connects rear nostrils; three pairs of barbels (on chin and both jaws), top pair short, not reaching pectoral fin; mouth broad, lips thick and fleshy; teeth on roof of mouth simple in a U-shaped group of 4 patches, smaller inner pair narrowly separated, outer pair larger, eliptical; gill opening wide, membranes not adhering to breast; a few tiny rakers on rear surfaces of first two gill arches; gill rakers on front of 1st arch 17-20, on 2nd arch 19-24, 36-44 combined (rarely 36 or 37) for both arches; mature females have fleshy protuberances on pelvic fins; tail fin deeply forked; a complete lateral line, with branches to top and bottom base of tail fin, no scales.

Dark brown to bluish above, whitish below; pelvics pale, with black base.

Reaches 60 cm.

Found in lower parts of freshwater streams, and in brackish water.

Depth range: 0-15 m?

Colombia and NW Venezuela.

Note: Often misidentified as Ariopsis bonillai (see Acero & Betancourt, 2006).

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mangrove
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 60
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 15