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Species: Cathorops aguadulce, Aguadulce Sea Catfish, Estuarine Sea Catfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

tip snout to D: 39-40.7% SL
snout 9.3-11.6% SL
D2 dark
gill rakers: 1st arch 14-16, 2nd 13-16
fleshy papillae between gill rakers

Cathorops aguadulce (Meek, 1904)

Estuarine Sea Catfish, Aguadulce Sea Catfish

Head long and depressed, 26% of SL; snout long, 9.3-11.6% of SL; shield on top of head rough, covered with thin skin; a deep, well defined groove along center-top of head; bony process between head shield and dorsal fin base long and narrow behind; distance from tip of snout to dorsal fin origin 39-40.7% of SL; plate at base of dorsal fin a short, wide crescent; eye large, 4.6-6.9% of SL; 2 pairs of close-set nostrils; no fleshy furrow extends across snout and connects rear nostrils; 3 pairs of barbells (on chin and both jaws), top barbell reaching past pectoral spine base; mouth small, lower jaws arched, lips thick; roof of mouth with 1 pair of well separated, elongate and narrow tooth patches with a few small molariform teeth, tooth patches considerably larger in females; jaw teeth in several rows, front teeth smaller than back, which range from conical to molar-like; gill opening restricted to sides by adhesion of gill membranes to breast; gill rakers 14-16 on first arch, 13-16 on second arch, present on rear surfaces of first two gill arches; gill rakers of first two arches with fleshy papillae between them; rear edges of pectoral spines with long, conspicuous serrations; anal fin 21 rays; tail fin deeply forked; a complete lateral line, with branches to top and bottom base of tail fin, no scales.

Preserved fish brownish, paler below; adipose 2nd dorsal fin dark, other fins like body

Reaches 29 cm.

Primarily freshwater but also in marine conditions.

Depth range: 1-10 m?

The SW Gulf of Mexico.

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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
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • Gulf of Mexico endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 29
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 10