Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: ASPREDINIDAE, Catfishes, Banjo


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body whip-like
D1 - I weak spine
no D2
barbels: top lips 1 pr, under head & chest 2-10 pr
gill opening = tiny slit
A v long base

FAMILY ASPREDINIDAE

BANJO, CATFISHES

Small to medium sized fishes; 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, often with a small associated barbel; underside of head and belly with 2-20 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; 10 of less tail fin rays; no scales.

A family of primarily freshwater catfishes from S America; 10 genera and ~36 species; 3 species from 3 genera in brackish water in the southern fringe of the Greater Caribbean.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER FERRARIS (2002)