Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfishes)
Family: Doradidae (Thorny catfishes)

Genus/species: Oxydoras niger

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  A stocky brown catfish with three pairs of barbels.  Like all catfish, they lack scales. Like all members of their family, have bony plates that protect the head and hook-like scutes that run along the lateral line. Scutes are sharp and can cause significant lacerations.  Length to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length and weigh 14 kg (30 lbs).

DISTRIBUTION/ HABITAT: South America: Amazon and possibly Orinoco River basins. Occur over mud in streams and lakes.

DIET: IN THE WILD: Large mouth creates a suction to vacuum up detritus, insect larvae, crustaceans, and plant material. When the forest is flooded, feeds exclusively on seeds and fruit.

Ripsaw Catfish8457689806_04869bec4e_k

REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT: Sexes separate. Fertilization external, seasonal peak January to February. Adults non-guarders.



REMARKS: Members of the family Doradidae are known as “talking catfishes” as they make a strange, creaking noise when removed from the water., a sound produced by movement of the pectoral spine within its socket and amplified by the swim bladder.

Scutes are sharp and can cause significant lacerations.

Ripsaw Catfish4689971804_616c3ae482_b

Most catfishes are not in this family. There are more than 30 families of “catfishes” comprising more than 2500 species; about 80 are doradids.


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