Donald Taphorn (1) Gerry
van Tonder (2)
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). Description:
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.
herzbergiiand S. passany); moderately sized posterior
chamber of swim bladder (vs. small in S.
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).
Habitat: 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.
the Gulf of Paria, Venezuela to Maranhao State, Brazil.
Habitat: brackish, marine.
190cm. TL (6ft 4ins)
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. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors.
2015. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, ( 08/2015 ). www.inaturalist.org/ www.gbif.org/