Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Hypophthalmus edentatus, Highwaterman catfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye low
D over A, spine feeble
adipose D small
A long base

Hypophthalmus edentatus Spix & Agassiz, 1829

Highwaterman catfish

Body elongate, robust; snout and head  not strongly depressed; head short and wide, distance between eyes (54-63% of head length), with a bony shield; front and rear nostrils well separated; eye low on side of head; rear nostril without a flap along its front edge; mouth opens at front; no teeth on sides of roof of mouth; 3 pairs of barbells, top barbell not very long; 1st dorsal fin small, with short base that is entirely over the anal fin, 1st spine short, feeble and flexible, fin over anal fin;  very small skin flap 2nd dorsal fin present; anal fin base very long, origin under pectoral; pectoral and dorsal spines present; pectoral fin very low on side; tail fin triangular, slightly concave; lateral line complete; no scales.

Light grey with steely blue cast above, yellowish cast on sides, white below; fins with color of body; barbells light grey above, white below.

Reaches 57.5 cm.

Primarily freshwater but  also In estuaries.

Depth range: 0-37 m.

The Gulf of Paria, Venezuela to northern Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Zooplankton
  • Terrestrial plants
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • All species..
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 57.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 37