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Species: Cathorops fuerthii, Congo sea-catfish

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head groove divided, rear part - narrow, shallow, sides irregular, parallel
eye small
D spine thinner than pectoral spine
roof mouth - 1 pair patches small molar teeth
lips thin
gill opening - side only
gill rakers 14-17
A 22-24
C lobes short, wide, round

Cathorops fuerthii (Steindachner, 1877)

Congo sea-catfish

Body moderately robust; head relatively long, depressed; snout moderately long, rounded across front;  eye small (3.2-4.2% SL); top of head rough at rear, covered with thin skin;  groove on top of head discontinuous - a short fleshy, wide, inconspicuous groove on snout that reaches to level of front nostrils,  rear, bony  part is narrow, inconspicuous, very shallow, with parallel, irregular margins; bony process behind head shield, funnel shaped, wide and relatively long (10.4-11.9% SL); 3 pairs of barbells (on chin and both jaws), top barbell reaches past base of pectoral spine, longest lower barbell reaches past gill membrane; gill opening restricted to sides by adhesion of gill membranes to breast; gill rakers 15 (14-17) on 1st arch, 15-17 on 2nd, rakers present on posterior surface of all gill arches;  lips relatively thin; jaws wide, with large teeth; teeth at front of top jaw in a continuous broad band; rear lower teeth are small molars; palate teeth large, molariform, in two large oval patches that touch or nearly do at front, more oblique than horizontal, tooth patches considerably larger in females; jaw teeth in several rows, front teeth smaller than back; dorsal rays I, 7, dorsal spine short (18.4-20.4% SL), much thinner than pectoral spine; anal rays 23 (22-24); pectoral rays I, 10-11, pectoral spine short, thick finely serrated; tail fin with short, wide, rounded lobes.

Dark blue or brownish on back, silvery white on sides and belly; fins dusky.

Size: grows to at least 35 cm.

Inhabits shallow marine waters and brackish estuaries.

Depth: 0-20 m.

Panama Bay to Costa Rica.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
  • Brooded
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Panamic province endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 35
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 20