Dorsal spines (total): 1. The head is more or less
flattened, the nostril nearly rounded, mouth inferior.
There are three pairs of barbels, 1 pair of maxillary
barbel and 2 pairs of mandibular barbels. Habitat:
Inhabits mainly brackish estuaries and lagoonsand
also occurs in freshwaters. Found on shallow muddy
bottoms and feeds on fish and shrimps. Two annual
cycles of slower growth occur during the dry seasons
(March and August to November). Life span is three
to four years. Sexually mature at 1.5 to 2 years of
age. Reproduction: Takes place from
November to April. Remarks: The skull
is sold throughout the world as a crucifix. The underside
of the skull covering has a bony structure which can
be seen when all the flesh and soft parts are removed.
It then looks like a crucifix or like a painting of
Christ crucified, and is surrounded by a Weberian
bone in form of a halo. The upper rough part of the
skull roof which is also visible on the living fish,
looks like a Monk with a cowl and hood and his arms
outstretched in prayer. Others see this as a Roman
soldier with armour on his chest and the dorsal fin
spine is the lance which he opened up Christs side.
proops, Sciadeichthys proops
and eastern South America: Caribbean Sea
and northern coast of South America, Colombia to Brazil:
Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Puerto Rico,
Suriname and Venezuela. Type locality:
20-27°c (67-81°f )
no. 53. The Crucifix Catfish. Froese, R. and D. Pauly.
Editors. 2009. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic
publication.www.fishbase.org, version (10/2009). Marceniuk, Alexandre P.; Menezes, Naércio
A. (2007). "Systematics of the family
Ariidae (Ostariophysi, Siluriformes), with a redefinition
of the genera" Zootaxa 1416: 1–126.