Sciades couma (Valenciennes, 1840)
Couma sea catfish
Sciades couma
photo by Barbosa, J.M./M. Deda

Family:  Ariidae (Sea catfishes), subfamily: Ariinae
Max. size:  97 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 30 kg; max. reported age: 5 years
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish
Distribution:  South America: Gulf of Paria to Pernambuco, Brazil.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 1-1. The head is rounded and flattened on the upper part. The mouth is slightly inferior. It has 3 pairs of barbels (1 pair of maxillary barbels and 2 pairs of mandibular barbels. The cephalic surface is very rough (Ref. 35381).
Biology:  Confined chiefly to turbid waters in estuaries and the lower parts of rivers. Its delicate flesh is highly valued (Ref. 27188). Two annual cycles of slower growth are know during the two dry seasons (March and August to November). Probably has a short life span. In the beginning of reproduction, the male's mouth changes to function as a egg repository (buccal incubation). The female lays down her eggs in a sandy depression, then after fertilization, the male puts the eggs into its mouth which is provided with ventilation until hatching. Eggs diameter is about 2 mm and its number varies from 100 to 165 per female. Feeds mainly on crustaceans (Ref. 35381). Marketed fresh and salted.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 28 January 2009 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 19.03.15
Checked by: Ferraris, Jr., Carl J. - 11.09.01

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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