Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Cathorops dasycephalus, Big-bellied sea-catfish, Bigbelly sea-catfish, Broadhead sea-catfish, Cuate sea-catfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head: central groove long, behind eye
nape bone short, triangular
D2 base > D1 base
roof mouth - 2 pr patches conical teeth
gill opening - side only
9 gill rakers

Cathorops dasycephalus (Günther, 1864)


Bigbelly sea-catfish,     Big-bellied sea-catfish,     Broadhead sea-catfish,     Cuate sea-catfish


Body robust; eye 4.9-6.0 in head; head smooth to rough, with four prominent ridges extending forward, two parallel ridges in center plus two outer ridges, each diverging towards eye, ridges with coarse to sharp granules or tubercles; central groove on head narrow, long, at rear of head; bony process extending back from head shield along nape triangular, short, slightly longer than wide; 3 pairs of barbells (on chin and both jaws); gill opening restricted to sides by adhesion of gill membranes to breast; gill rakers 9, no rakers on posterior surface of first 2 archs; teeth on roof of mouth simple, in 4 patches,the inner patches well separated at midline and continuous with slightly larger and narrowly ovate outer patches, the outer patches with conical teeth, tooth patches considerably larger in females; jaw teeth in several rows, front teeth smaller than back; dorsal rays I, 7; adipose dorsal fin base longer than first dorsal fin base; anal rays 19-23; pectoral rays I, 10-11.

Dark grey or bluish brown on back, sides grey to bluish; lower surface whitish; barbels black; fins dusky to blackish.

Size: grows to 29 cm.

Habitat: relatively common, marine, occasionally in estuaries, not in freshwater.

Depth: 10-30 m?

The SE Gulf of California to Ecuador.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • No pelagic phase
  • No data
  • Brooded
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 29
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 30