Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Sciades proops, Crucifix sea-catfish, Crucifix Sea Catfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout square, slightly overhanging
bone behind head shield- slender or square + spine
D base plate - large saddle, notch at front
NO transverse skin flap between nostrils
2 pr tooth patches, fused into U, rear patches notched
gill rakers 15-18

Sciades proops (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1840)

Crucifix sea-catfish

Head more or less flattened; snout slightly overhangs mouth, square when viewed from above; bony head shield very rough, extends forward to rear of eyes; bony plate at front of base of dorsal fin large, saddle shaped, rough, with a notch at front; bony process between head shield and pre-dorsal plate varies from a slender spine to squarish with a spine whose point extends into a notch at the front of the pre-dorsal plate behind it; no large  transverse skin fold between rear nostrils; three pairs of barbels (on both jaws and chin), top barbels only reach pectoral fin; roof of mouth with two pairs of patches of conical teeth all fused into a U shaped patch, front side edges of rear patches notched or indented; gill opening wide, membranes not adhering to breast; gill rakers on 1st arch 15-18, no tiny rakers on rear of 1st 2 gill arches; pectoral soft rays 11-12; tail fin deeply forked; a complete lateral line, with branches to top and bottom base of tail fin, no scales.

Grey to dark brown to dark blue above, whitish below.

Reaches 100 cm.

Mainly in brackish estuaries and lagoons, also in freshwater and hypersaline lagoons.

Depth range 1-20 m?

Colombia to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Hypersaline
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Mud
  • Mangrove
  • Freshwater
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
  • Data
  • Brooded
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent
  • All species..
  • Extends South of GC
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 100
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20