Family: AUCHENIPTERIDAE, Driftwood Catfishes
Body and head rounded, robust; nape with sutured bony plates under the skin; front and rear nostrils widely separated; 3 (2 in 1 species) pairs of barbells, top lip pair longest; a distinctive groove under eye that holds the top-lip barbell; dorsal and pectoral fins with a strong spine, base of dorsal spine swollen; skin-flap second dorsal fin small (rarely absent), at rear of body; anal fin with long base; lateral line conspicuous and wavy, forked at its rear end; body scaleless.
A family of freshwater, S American catfishes; with ~60 species in 21 genera. One brackishwater species at the southern fringe of the Greater Caribbean.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER FAO