Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Platystacus cotylephorus, Banded Banjo, Banded Banjo Catfish, Whiptail Banjo Catfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

top jaw barbel joined to head by membrane, no accessory barbel
flank - 3-4 ridges
2 pairs lower barbels, under head only

Platystacus cotylephorus Bloch, 1794

Banded Banjo, Whiptail Banjo Catfish, Banded Banjo Catfish

Head and front of body broad and flattened; body long, slender, tapering to a whiplike end; a strong bony shield on top of head; eyes tiny; front and rear nostrils separated by a space > nostril diameter; mouth under head; a pair of barbels at top lip that have a membrane joining them to side of head, without a small associated barbel; underside of head and belly with only 2 pairs of barbels; gill opening a tiny slit before pectoral fin base; dorsal fin base short, with a weak spine; no skin flap 2nd dorsal fin; anal fin with a very long base, 50-60 rays; pectoral fin low on side, with a strong lockable spine; no scales; 3-4 ridges along side of body.

Body black above, pale underneath; fins black

Reaches 20 cm.

In estuaries and river mouths on mud bottoms.

Depth range: 0-10 m?

The Orinoco to the Amazon, Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mangrove
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
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
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10