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Carlarius heudelotii (Valenciennes, 1840)

Smoothmouth sea catfish
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Carlarius heudelotii   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Carlarius heudelotii (Smoothmouth sea catfish)
Carlarius heudelotii
Picture by Alvheim, O./Institute of Marine Research (IMR)

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Siluriformes (Catfishes) > Ariidae (Sea catfishes) > Ariinae
Etymology: Carlarius: First part of the generic name honors Dr. Carl Ferraris, Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences for his contribution to the knowledge of Siluriformes fishes and continuous support and encouragement throughout the development of this work; the second part is from the frequently used generic name Arius..
More on author: Valenciennes.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; depth range 15 - 75 m (Ref. 6541). Tropical; 15°N - 9°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Atlantic: common in coastal marine waters from Cap Blanc (Mauritania) to Gabon; occasionally enters estuaries and brackish waters (Ref. 57224). Reported from the middle Benue (Niger basin) in Nigeria (Ref. 3064, 57224). Reported as possibly as far south as Angola (Ref. 3876) but this is unconfirmed (Ref. 57224).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 83.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2683); max. published weight: 8.5 kg (Ref. 40637)

Short description Identification keys | Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 12 - 14. Diagnosis: body elongated and rounded; head broad and only slightly flattened above; snout rounded; mouth inferior; maxillary barbels reaching to pectoral fin bases, mandibular ones being shorter; osseous head shield fairly visible through the skin, coarsely rugose; occipital process rather narrow at base, tapering towards its distal end, with a median keel; predorsal plate short, very rugose and crescent-shaped; premaxillary teeth villiform, forming a plate slightly curved (Ref. 57224). Palatine teeth usually in a single pair of small rounded patches, widely separated, when present, by a space much greater than their diameter (Ref. 57224, 81640). Sometimes 1 or both patches absent; usually no, infrequently 1-2 tiny, gill-rakers on posterior face of 1st and 2nd branchial arch (Ref. 57224). Total number of anterior gill-rakers on first arch: 13-15 (Ref. 57224, 81640). 14-17 gill rakers on the outer side of the entire 2nd arch (Ref. 81640). Dorsal fin short with a long, osseous, more or less serrated spine preceded by a very short one; dorsal and pectoral fins with a strong serrated, erectile spine; adipose fin well developed; caudal fin forked, with long and pointed lobes (Ref. 57224). Coloration: olive-brown above, silvered on sides, belly white (Ref. 57224).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Enters brackish waters; found along the shallow continental shelf (Ref. 3876). Feeds on benthic invertebrates buried in the mud but it can sometimes leave the bottom to capture prey in open water. The females bear large eggs which are incubated and develop in the buccal cavity of the males. The rays of the fins are venomous and the wound inflicted is extremely painful (Ref. 5377). Minimum depth from Ref. 58018.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturities | Reproduction | Spawnings | Egg(s) | Fecundities | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Ferraris, Jr., Carl J. | Collaborators

Schneider, W., 1990. FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Field guide to the commercial marine resources of the Gulf of Guinea. Prepared and published with the support of the FAO Regional Office for Africa. Rome: FAO. 268 p. (Ref. 2683)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 17 August 2011


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Venomous (Ref. 5377)

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO - Publication: search | FishSource |

More information

Trophic ecology
Food items
Diet compositions
Food consumptions
Food rations
Population dynamics
Max. ages / sizes
Length-weight rel.
Length-length rel.
Mass conversions
Life cycle
Spawning aggregations
Egg developments
Larval dynamics
FAO areas
BRUVS - Videos
Gill areas
Body compositions
Oxygen consumptions
Swimming type
Swimming speeds
Visual pigment(s)
Fish sounds
Diseases / Parasites
Toxicities (LC50s)
Human related
Aquaculture systems
Aquaculture profiles
Ciguatera cases
Stamps, coins, misc.


Special reports

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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201): 18.9 - 26.1, mean 23.2 °C (based on 35 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00794 (0.00444 - 0.01422), b=3.00 (2.84 - 3.16), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.8   ±0.62 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 7.7 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.14-0.15).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (57 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.
Nutrients (Ref. 124155):  Calcium = 75.6 [41.3, 163.6] mg/100g; Iron = 0.929 [0.596, 1.539] mg/100g; Protein = 17.5 [15.9, 19.4] %; Omega3 = 0.261 [0.150, 0.465] g/100g; Selenium = 64.3 [34.9, 124.7] μg/100g; VitaminA = 16.3 [6.8, 38.4] μg/100g; Zinc = 1.09 [0.75, 1.64] mg/100g (wet weight);