Sciades couma (Valenciennes, 1840)
Couma sea catfish
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 Family:  Ariidae (Sea catfishes), subfamily: Ariinae
 Max. size:  97 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 30 kg; max. reported age: 5 years
 Environment:  demersal
 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:   (Ref. 96402)
 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

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