Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; depth range - m (Ref. ), usually - m (Ref. ). Tropical; 0°C - ; 11°N - 8°S, 77°W - 34°W
South America: Gulf of Paria to Pernambuco, Brazil.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 97.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 30.0 kg (Ref. 5217); max. reported age: 5 years (Ref. 51994)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 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).
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.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Distinct pairing. Mouth brooding may be employed (Ref. 205).
Cervigón, F., R. Cipriani, W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, M. Hendrickx, A.J. Lemus, R. Márquez, J.M. Poutiers, G. Robaina and B. Rodriguez, 1992. Fichas FAO de identificación de especies para los fines de la pesca. Guía de campo de las especies comerciales marinas y de aquas salobres de la costa septentrional de Sur América. FAO, Rome. 513 p. Preparado con el financiamento de la Comisión de Comunidades Europeas y de NORAD. (Ref. 5217)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 58010)
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5039 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00724 (0.00445 - 0.01179), b=3.14 (3.00 - 3.28), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.5 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K = 0.45; tmax = 5).
Prior r = 0.56, 95% CL = 0.37 - 0.84, Based on 1 stock assessment.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 172 [80, 350] mg/100g ; Iron = 1.07 [0.65, 1.81] mg/100g ; Protein = 17.2 [15.6, 18.8] % ; Omega3 = 0.33 [0.15, 0.70] g/100g ; Selenium = 112 [42, 271] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 8.47 [3.34, 22.32] μg/100g ; Zinc = 1.13 [0.71, 2.01] mg/100g (wet weight);