Your internet guide to
all things catfish

Back to Family page Back to Family page
















































 Carlarius heudelotii (Valenciennes, 1840)

Image contributors to this species:

Hippocampus Bildarchiv (1) Henk Heessen (3)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Enters brackish waters; found along the shallow continental shelf. 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. Demersal; brackish; marine; depth range 15 - 75 m. The sea catfish from Guinea are slow growing species which reach 40 to 42 cm (approximately one kilogram) at 6 years. The quite frequent observation in the landings of the canoe fishery of 80 cm individuals of A. latiscutatus and A. heudelotii, which are speculated to be 20 to 30 years old, indicates that their natural mortality is low. Their morphology, with a very hard skull and strong protective spines, as well as their habitat on muddy bottoms where turbidity is strong, probably protects them from predation. Their reproductive adaptativeness, with a small number of very big eggs (ariids have the largest eggs of any teleost group) protected by mouth incubation, also allows a large reduction in the early life mortality. Note: It has to be noted that Marceniuk & Menezes (2007) have placed this species in a new Genera, Carlarius, named for Carl Ferraris for his contribution to the knowledge of Siluriformes fishes and includes the seven known Arius species from the west African coastline. Arius heudeloti Valenciennes, 1840, is the type species.

Common Name:

Smoothmouth sea catfish


Tachysurus heudelotii, Bagrus goreensis, Tachysurus mercatoris, Arius mercatoris, Arius heudelotii.    


Ariidae mblycipitidae


West coast of Africa, from Mauritania to Gabon and, possibly, to Angola; in marine waters and estuaries. Type locality: haut Sénégal.


76.0cm.TL (2ft 6¼ins)


20-27°c (67-81°f )




Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase.World Wide Web electronic publication.www.fishbase.org, version (10/2009).
Conand, F., S.B. Camara and F. Domain 1995 Age and growth of three species of Ariidae (Siluriformes) in coastal waters of Guinea. Bull. Mar. Sci. 56(1):58-67.
Marceniuk, Alexandre P.; Menezes, Naércio A. (2007). "Systematics of the family Ariidae (Ostariophysi, Siluriformes), with a redefinition of the genera" Zootaxa 1416: 1–126.
California Academy of Sciences http://research.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatget.asp?spid=4679



Back to Family Back to Family page


























                                                                                          updated = July 30, 2018 © ScotCat 1997-2018