Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Notarius grandicassis, Thomas Sea Catfish

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bone behind head shield- narrower at base, sides straight to convex
snout pointed
plate before D: chevron/crescent shaped
roof mouth: 2 pr tooth patches, central patches small
gill rakers 13-17

Notarius grandicassis (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1840)

Thomas Sea Catfish

Head rounded, only slightly flattened; snout very prominent, pointed when viewed from above, strongly overhanging mouth; shield on top of head rough reaching to between eyes; no groove on center top of head; bony process behind head shield usually narrower at base than at rear, with sides varying from straight to strongly convex, forming an oval shield; bony plate before base of dorsal fin spine a short crescent or chevron; 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 reaching pectoral fin; gill opening wide, membranes not adhering to breast; teeth on roof of mouth pointed to granular, on 2 plates on each side, the front plate small, circular, and well separated, or absent, touching the large, long, ~ triangular rear plate; no rakers on rear surfaces of first two gill arches; gill rakers on front of 1st arch 13-17; bony plate above base of pectoral fin triangular, pointed; tail fin deeply forked; a complete lateral line, with branches to top and bottom base of tail fin, no scales.

Grey brown to yellow brown above, whitish below.

Reaches 90 cm.

Turbid muddy water of river mouths, estuaries and mangrove lagoons, mostly in fresh to brackish water.

Depth range: 0-35 m?

Colombia to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mangrove
  • 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
  • 90
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 35