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Species: Cathorops mapale, Mapalé Sea Catfish

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body elongate
head shield -dense granules
bone behind head shield 8.2-9.8% SL, profile straight
D spine > pectoral spine
pectoral spine inconspicuous serrations
not yellow
top barbell reaches past pectoral spine base
gill rakers: 1st arch 21-24, 2nd 19-22
A 21-25

Cathorops mapale Betancur & Acero, 2005

Mapalé Sea Catfish

Body elongate; head rounded, rounded when viewed from above, moderately flattened above; shield on top of head rough, granular at rear, covered with thin skin, not or barely extending to level of rear edge of eyes, its rear process 8.2-9.8% SL, with a broad base, narrow and short at rear, with a central keel that has a straight profile, meeting a small, crescent-shaped plate at front of base of dorsal fin spine; a deep, long groove along top of head that extends almost to keel of rear process of head shield; 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), upper barbels 27-8-39.3% of SL, reach past pectoral spine base; teeth on roof of mouth at sides only, in 1 pair of well separated small patches, those teeth small, few, molar-like; gill opening restricted to sides by adhesion of gill membranes to breast; well developed, uniformly distributed gill rakers present on front and rear surfaces of first two gill arches, 21-24 (rarely 20) at front of first arch, 19-22 (rarely 18) on front of second arch; dorsal fin spine longer than pectoral fin spine; pectoral fin spine with inconspicuous serrations; anal fin 21-25 rays; tail fin deeply forked, upper lobe longer; a complete lateral line, with branches to top and bottom base of tail fin, no scales.

Brown; paler below.

Reaches 30.6 cm.

Fresh, brackish and seawater of coastal lagoons and the shoreline.

Depth range: 1-20 m.

W Colombia.

Note: Genetically distinct from the cooccuring C. wayuu, but the two species cannot be reliably distinguished morphologically.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Insects
  • 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
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30.6
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20