Bagre marinus (Mitchill, 1815)
Gafftopsail sea catfish
photo by JJPhoto

Family:  Ariidae (Sea catfishes), subfamily: Bagreinae
Max. size:  69 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 4,360.0 g
Environment:  demersal; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 50 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: coast of Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, western margin of the Caribbean, and the northern margin of South America. Sometimes in rivers and estuaries.
Diagnosis:  Anal soft rays: 22-28. Maxillary barbels, first ray of dorsal fin, and first ray of pectoral fin extended as long, flat filaments. 1 pair of barbels on chin.
Biology:  Mainly marine but enters brackish estuaries with relatively high salinities (Ref. 5217). Opportunistic feeders over mud and sandy bottoms (Ref. 27549). Feeds mainly on small fishes and invertebrates. The dorsal and pectoral fins are equipped with a serrated erectile spine, both of which are venomous. Commonly caught by anglers along bridges, piers and catwalks. Flesh considered good; marketed fresh (Ref. 5217). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 57178.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 07 January 2014 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  venomous
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Bailly, Nicolas - 21.10.15
Checked by: Ferraris, Jr., Carl J. - 12.09.01

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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