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Galeichthys feliceps Valenciennes, 1840

Image contributors to this species:

Gareth Roocroft (3)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory


 Relevant Information:

Vertebrae: 51 - 52. This species is distinguished by the following characters: head longer than, or nearly as long as, broad; tooth patches are posterior to premaxillary band touch at midline; relatively long and thin maxillary barbel, extending at least to pectoral fin spine origin (longer in females); dorsal fin spine length more than 70% of its height; pectoral-fin spine at vertical extends at most to hind edge of dorsal fin base; deeply forked caudal fin with moderately slender, with pointed lobes, upper lobe longer; caudal peduncle approximately twice as long as deep; 11-14 gill-rakers on anterior face of first arch; upper two-thirds of body darkened, some lateral speckling and belly stark white; median anterior cranial fontanelle (of exposed skull) elongate and bullet-shaped; smooth and shallow median cranial depression, deepest posteriorly at frontal/supraoccipital suture. 10-12 pectoral fin rays; 51-52 (17 precaudal, 34-35 caudal) total vertebrae. Dimorphism of posterior (humeral) process of cleithrum obvious externally, in females, fan-shaped, in males triangular. Remarks: Generally found in large shoals on muddy bottoms in turbid waters, usually on the coastline and estuaries. Also found in rivers. Feeds on crayfish, small fish, and crabs. Considered a nuisance of shore and ski-boat anglers in southern Africa as little else is caught. Spines are poisonous and wounds should be treated immediately.

Common Name:

White Sea Catfish, White Barbel


Arius feliceps, Bagrus feliceps, Tachysurus feliceps, Pimelodus fossor, Bagrus capensis, Pimelodus peronii, Galeichthys ocellatus




Africa: Widely distributed in southern Africa; in freshwater, estuaries, and coastal environments. Type locality: Aux environs du Cap [South Africa].
North America: Coast of the Gulf of Mexico to Cape Cod, USA.


55cm Total Length. (22ins)


Subtropical 41°N - 28°S




Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2011. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version
Kulongowski, C., 2010. Revision of the ariid catfish genus Galeichthys Valenciennes (subfamily Galeichthyinae), with description of a new species from South Africa and designation of a neotype for G. ater Castelnau. Smithiania Bull. (12):9-23.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Seegers, L. 2008 The catfishes of Africa. A handbook for identification and maintenance. Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH, Germany. 604 p.




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