SILURIFORMES - catfish - Page 3
Ageneiosidae
These open water catfish are commonly called slopehead catfish because of their characteristic lateral outline of the head. The skin is naked and only a single pair of short barbels. The family holds three genera, Tetranematichthys, Tympanopleura and Ageneiosus . The latter holds by far the most species. They are open water predators which actively pursue smaller fish.
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View from above of a member of the Ageneiosidae
View from above of a member of the Ageneiosidae

View from above of a member of the Ageneiosidae
View from above of a member of the Ageneiosidae

Lateral view of a preserved specimen of Ageneiosus showing the characteristically sloped head of the family
Lateral view of a preserved specimen of Ageneiosus showing the characteristically sloped head of the family

Lateral view of Ageneiosus vittatus
Lateral view of Ageneiosus vittatus

An Amazonian boy shows his catch, a slopehead catfish of the genus Ageneiosus
An Amazonian boy shows his catch, a slopehead catfish of the genus Ageneiosus


Cetopsidae
This group of open water catfish have a distinctive rounded form to their naked bodies. They are streamlined with small eyes protected by a layer of skin. This family holds four genera, Hemicetopsis, Pseudocetopsis, Cetopsogiton and Cetopsis. These are predatory fish that will attack injured fish and animals much larger than themselves, literally burrowing into the flesh. They frequently damage fish caught in gill nets before they can be removed by the fishermen. They are known to burrow deep into the bodies of dead animals, including man.
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Lateral view of a Cetopsis species
Lateral view of a Cetopsis species

Lateral view of a Cetopsis species
Lateral view of a Cetopsis species


Hypophthalmidae
This family, commonly called the lookdown catfish, only holds the genus Hypophthalmus. There are two, possibly three, species in the genus. They are naked skinned, with small eyes set on the underside of the head so that they look downwards and they possess three pairs of barbels. They are pelagic fish which feed on plankton. The gill rakers are long and numerous and developed as a filtering apparatus to collect plankton.
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Lateral view of an adult Hypophthalmus edentatus
Lateral view of an adult Hypophthalmus edentatus

Lateral view of an adult Hypophthalmus edentatus
Lateral view of an adult Hypophthalmus edentatus


Trichomycteridae
This family includes members that live within other fish and will even, in the case of the notorious candiru, enter humans. The fish is said to be attracted by urine so it is advisable in the Amazon to wear swimming trunks and not to urinate in the water. In fact, behave as one would in the swimming baths. Many are small, slender catfish. Most species are free-living and harmless.
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Preserved specimen of a Vandellia species. Members of this genus are specialised for a parasitic life and will enter the urethra of mammals
Preserved specimen of a Vandellia species. Members of this genus are specialised for a parasitic life and will enter the urethra of mammals

Ventral view of Pseudostegophilus nemurus
Ventral view of Pseudostegophilus nemurus

Dorsal view of Pseudostegophilus nemurus
Dorsal view of Pseudostegophilus nemurus

The anterior half of a Trichomyctid parasitic catfish caught in a forest stream
The anterior half of a Trichomyctid parasitic catfish caught in a forest stream

Ventral surface of a Trichomyctid parasitic catfish caught in a forest stream
Ventral surface of a Trichomyctid parasitic catfish caught in a forest stream

Dorsal surface of a Trichomyctid parasitic catfish caught in a forest stream
Dorsal surface of a Trichomyctid parasitic catfish caught in a forest stream


Callichthyidae
This is a large family of small armoured catfish that are often highly abundant and found in large groups. The sides of these fish are protected with two rows of scutes and there are usually two pairs of barbels and a pair of filaments or fleshy flaps. They are predators on small insects and other invertebrates.
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Lateral view of Dianema longibarbis showing the rows of lateral scutes. This species is abundant within floodplain lakes and even enters flooded forest
Lateral view of Dianema longibarbis showing the rows of lateral scutes. This species is abundant within floodplain lakes and even enters flooded forest

Lateral view of Hoplosternum thoracatum. This species is abundant in floating meadow within floodplain lakes
Lateral view of Megalechis thoracata (until recently known as Hoplosternum thoracatum). This species is abundant in floating meadow within floodplain lakes

An unidentified Callichthyid catfish - probably C. callichthys
An unidentified Callichthyid catfish - probably C. callichthys

Lateral view of Callichthys callichthys, a common floodplain species
Lateral view of Callichthys callichthys, a common floodplain species