Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Sciades herzbergii, Pemecou Sea Catfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout long, rounded
bone behind head shield- broad base, tapering, kee
plate before D - short crescent
transverse skin flap between nostrils
roof mouth: 2 pr tooth patches, fused to form U
gill rakers- 2nd arch 19-26

Sciades herzbergii (Bloch, 1794)

Pemecou Sea Catfish

Head rounded, only slightly flattened; snout long, overhangs mouth, distinctly rounded when viewed from above; bony head shield very rough, granular, extends forward to between eyes; bony plate at front of base of dorsal fin short, crescent shaped, sometimes notched behind where it meets the dorsal fin spine; bony process between head shield and pre-dorsal plate rough, broad at base, tapering to rear, slightly keeled above; a large transverse skin fold between rear nostrils; three pairs of barbels (on both jaws and chin), top barbels with very thick bases; roof of mouth with two pairs of patches of conical teeth, front pair fused centrally and continuous with rear pair, the entire set U shaped; gill opening wide, membranes not adhering to breast; gill rakers on second arch 21-23 (19-26), sometimes a few tiny rakers on rear of 1st 2 gill arches; pectoral soft rays 10 (10-11); tail fin deeply forked; a complete lateral line, with branches to top and bottom base of tail fin, no scales.

Dark brown above, whitish below.

Reaches 55 cm.

Estuaries, saltwater and hypersaline lagoons, lower parts of rivers.

Depth range: 1-20 m?

Colombia to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Hypersaline
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
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
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 55
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20