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Sciades parkeri (Traill, 1832)

Image contributors to this species:

Jian Ruilong (1) Donald Taphorn (1)

ScotCat Sources:


Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory  Catalog of Fishes

Relevant Information:

The classification of species within the Ariidae is arguably the most poorly resolved of any catfish family. In recent years, there have been three independent attempts to examine the phylogeny of the family (Marceniuk, 2003; Kailola, 2004; and Betancur et al., 2004) and produce classifications that reflect the resulting phylogenetic hypotheses (see Ferraris 2007). Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7; Anal soft rays: 18 - 20; Vertebrae: 49 - 51. This species is distinguished by the following characters: in life, yellowish body; swim bladder divided into 3 chambers; shield-shaped nuchal plate, usually larger than the supraoccipital process; head shield exposed and granulated in orbital and postorbital regions; first 2 gill with no mesial gill rakers. Sciades parkeri can further be distinguished from sympatric congeners by the following: fleshy furrow connecting posterior nares absent (vs. present in S. couma, S. herzbergii and S. passany); moderately sized posterior chamber of swim bladder (vs. small in S. proops; absent in S. couma, S. herzbergii, S. passany); nuchal plate with no anterior notch (vs. anterior notched in S. proops, sometimes notched in S. herzbergii); palatal patches forming a U-shaped band (vs. transverse in S. passany, lateral edge on accessory patches not emarginated or shallowly notched; lateral edge with an angled and pronounced notch in S. proops). Mainly found in turbid waters over muddy bottoms in coastal areas, estuaries and lower parts of rivers. Sexually mature after around two years of age. Upon hatching, the alevins are relatively large, approximately 6.0-6.5 cm. Aquarium Care: Grows too large for the home aquarium.

Common Name:

Gillbacker sea catfish


Silurus parkeri, Arius parkeri, Aspistor parkeri, Hexanematichthys parkeri


Ariidae mblycipitidae


Western Atlantic: from the Gulf of Paria, Venezuela to Maranhao State, Brazil. Habitat: brackish, marine.


190cm. TL (6ft 4ins)


22-26°c (71-79°f )


7.0 -8.0.


Betancur-R., R.: Marceniuk, A.P. and P. Béarez, 2008. Taxonomic status and redescription of the gillbacker sea catfish (Siluriformes: Ariidae: Sciades parkeri). Copeia 2008(4):827-834
Marceniuk P. Alexandre & Menzes A. Naircio. Systematics of the family Ariidae (Ostariophysi, Siluriformes), with a redefinition of the genera (Zootaxa 1416) 126 pp.; 30 cm. 2007.
Betancur, R., Marceniuk, A.P., Giarrizzo, T. & Fredou, F.L. 2015. Sciades parkeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T155018A722547. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T155018A722547.en.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2015.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, ( 08/2015 )



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