Ariopsis felis (Linnaeus, 1766)

Marceniuk, Alexandre P., Acero, Arturo, Cooke, Richard & Betancur-R, Ricardo, 2017, Taxonomic revision of the New World genus Ariopsis Gill (Siluriformes: Ariidae), with description of two new species, Zootaxa 4290 (1), pp. 1-42: 14-19

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4290.1.1

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http://treatment.plazi.org/id/03992C13-FFB4-FFFC-A1E1-F8DE1FB7FD0B

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scientific name

Ariopsis felis (Linnaeus, 1766)
status

 

Ariopsis felis (Linnaeus, 1766) 

Hardhead sea catfish (English)

Mâchoiron chat (French),

Bagre boca chica or Bagre gato (Spanish).

Figure 10View FIGURE 10 and 11View FIGURE 11, Tables 2–4 and 7.

Silurus felis Linnaeus, 1766:503  . Type locality: Charleston Harbor , South Carolina, US. Neotype: BMNH 1985.11.11.1. 

Arius milberti Valenciennes, 1840:74  . Type locality: New York  ; Charleston, South Carolina, US  . Syntypes: MNHNAbout MNHN B –0593 (3) New York  .

Arius equestris Baird & Girard, 1854:26  . Type locality: Matagorda Bay , at Indianola, Calhoun County, Texas, US, Gulf of Mexico. Holotype: USNMAbout USNM 836View Materials. 

Galeichthys guentheri Regan, 1906  –1908:124, Pl. 16 (fig. 1), 19 (fig. 3). Type locality: Gulf of Mexico. Syntypes: BMNH 1855.9.19.1105–1106 (2), BMNH (1) New Orleans, Lousiana.

Arius felis, Taylor & Menezes, 1978  ; McEachran & Fechhelm, 1998: 361.

Ariopsis felis, Castro-Aguirre et al., 1999: 152  –154; Acero P., 2003: 840.

Material Examined. Type specimens: MNHNAbout MNHN B –0593 (3, 159– 189 mm SL), New York. Non-type specimens: FMNHAbout FMNH 37916View Materials (2, 155– 163 mm SL), US, South Carolina, Charleston Harbor   ; AMNHAbout AMNH 52073View Materials (5, 189– 235 mm SL), US, Alabama, Mobile, Dauphin Island and Vicinity  ; AMNHAbout AMNH 85099View Materials (2, 63– 67 mm SL) US, Alabama, Gulf of Mexico, Theodore Ship Channel   ; USNMAbout USNM 206742View Materials (1, 128 mm SL), US, Louisiana, Grande Isle   ; USNMAbout USNM 120058View Materials (1, 107 mm SL), US, Texas, off Aransas Pass. 

Diagnosis. Ariopsis felis  differs from its congeners as follows: from A. assimilis  , from Mexico (Quintana Roo) to Honduras (Caribbean), by the presence of 34–37 gill rakers on the first and second gill arches (vs. 29–32), osseous medial groove present (vs. absent; Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11), fleshy medial groove of neurocranium conspicuous and long, always surpassing the posterior margin of eyes (vs. conspicuous or inconspicuous, but never surpassing posterior margin of eyes, Figs. 4View FIGURE 4 and 11View FIGURE 11), lateral margin of sphenotic notched, narrower medially than anteriorly (vs. straight, as wide medially as anteriorly, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11), pterotic lateral margin smoothly convex (vs. markedly convex, sometimes angled, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11); from A. canteri  , from Colombia (Caribbean), by the presence of 29–32 rakers on the first and second gill arches (vs. 36–44), osseous medial groove present (vs. absent; Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11), lateral margin of sphenotic notched, narrower medially than anteriorly (vs. straight, as wide medially as anteriorly, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11), pterotic lateral margin smoothly convex (vs. markedly convex, sometimes angled, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11); from A. gilberti  , from Mexico (EP), by the presence of 29–32 gill rakers on the first and second gill arches (vs. 40– 42), lateral margin of pterotic smoothly convex (vs. markedly convex, sometimes angled, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11); from A. guatemalensis  , from Mexico to Costa Rica (EP), by its smaller mouth 9.1–11.5% SL (vs. 13.0–15.2% SL), closer anterior nostrils 4.6–6.4% SL (vs. 7.1–8.6% SL), closer posterior nostrils 4.2–7.1% SL (vs. 7.2–8.7% SL), osseous medial groove present (vs. absent; Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11), fleshy medial groove of neurocranium conspicuous and very long, always surpassing the posterior margin of eyes (vs. conspicuous or inconspicuous, but never surpassing eyes, Figs. 4View FIGURE 4 and 11View FIGURE 11), mesethmoid median portion narrow (vs. wide, Fig. 3View FIGURE 3), mesethmoid medial notch narrow and deep (vs. large and shallow, Fig. 3View FIGURE 3), lateral margin of sphenotic notched, narrower medially than anteriorly (vs. straight, as wide medially as anteriorly, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11), pterotic lateral margin smoothly convex (vs. markedly convex, sometimes angled, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11); from A. jimenezi  , from Archipiélago de Las Perlas in Panama (EP), by the presence of 13–15 gill rakers on the first gill arch, rarely 16 (vs. 16–17, rarely 15, Table 3), external posterior branch of lateral ethmoid columnar and thin (vs. depressed and thick, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11), fenestra delimited by mesethmoid and lateral ethmoid conspicuous (vs. inconspicuous, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11); from A. seemanni  , from El Salvador to Panama (EP), by its fleshy medial groove of neurocranium conspicuous and very long, always surpassing the posterior margin of eyes (vs. conspicuous or inconspicuous, but never surpassing posterior margin of eyes, Figs. 4View FIGURE 4 and 11View FIGURE 11), pterotic lateral margin smoothly convex (vs. markedly convex, sometimes angled, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11); from A. simonsi  , from Colombia to Peru (EP), by its fleshy medial groove of neurocranium conspicuous and very long, always surpassing the posterior margin of eyes (vs. conspicuous or inconspicuous, but never surpassing posterior margin of eyes, Figs. 4View FIGURE 4 and 11View FIGURE 11), lateral margin of sphenotic notched, narrower medially than anteriorly (vs. straight, as wide medially as anteriorly, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11), pterotic lateral margin smoothly convex (vs. markedly convex, sometimes angled, Figs. 3View FIGURE 3 and 11View FIGURE 11).

Description. Morphometrics and meristics summarized in Tables 2–4, 7. Head moderately long, wide and high, especially depressed at lateral ethmoid and frontal area, profile elevated posteriorly, straight from mesethmoid to parietosupraoccipital. Snout rounded and moderately long. Anterior nostril rounded, with fleshy edge, posterior nostril covered by flap of skin, relatively close to one another and distant from orbit, not connected by fleshy furrow. Eye lateral, relatively large and moderately separated. Three pairs of long teretiform barbels; maxillary barbel surpassing or not membranous portion of operculum, lateral and mesial mental barbel not reaching posterior margin of gill membrane. Osseous bridge formed by lateral ethmoid and frontal moderately long and slender, delimiting a fenestra little evident under the skin. Cephalic shield exposed, moderately long and relatively narrow on supracleithrum, lateral ethmoid and frontal areas, with thick granulation (rather conspicuous), forming distinct patterns from eyes to parietosupraoccipital procces. Fleshy portion of dorsomedial groove of neurocranium affixed to anterior cranial fontanel, long and conspicuous, reaching eyes. Lateral margin of sphenotic notched, narrower medially than anteriorly. Pterotic lateral margin smoothly convex. Parietosupraoccipital keeled, triangular, with straight lateral margins converging posteriorly, relatively short and moderately wide at posterior portion, with posterior margin convex. Nuchal plate crescent-shaped, moderately granulated dorsally, moderately long and narrow. Mouth subterminal, moderately large, with lips moderately thick and lower jaw arched. Vomerine tooth plates rounded. One pair of accessory tooth plates ovate, with sharp teeth. Premaxilla rectangular transversally, moderately long and wide, with sharp teeth. Dentary with eyebrow-shaped patch of teeth, separated at midline with sharp teeth. Gill membranes fused, attached to isthmus. Thirteen to 16 acicular gill rakers on first arch, 13–17 spike-shaped gill rakers on second arch, rakers present on posterior margin of all gill arches.

Body significantly wider than its height at pectoral girdle area, progressively compressed from pectoral to caudal peduncle, ventrally flattened from pectoral girdle to anal origin. Lateral line sloping ventrally on anterior one-third, extending posteriorly to caudal peduncle, bending abruptly onto dorsal lobe of caudal. Dorsal spine relatively short and thick, shorter than pectoral spine; anterior margin granulated on basal two-thirds, with weak serrations on distal third; posterior margin smooth on basal third, distal third with weak serrations. Seven dorsal soft rays. Pectoral spine relatively short and thick; two-thirds of anterior margin weakly granulated, with weak serrations on distal third; posterior margin straight on basal one-fourth, distal three-fourths with little conspicuous serrations. Nine to 11 pectoral soft rays. Posterior process of cleithrum triangular, smooth to rugose, slightly visible. Pelvic fin deep and large at base, with six rays, and well-developed fleshy protuberances in adult females.

Adipose fin low, with base moderately long, shorter than anal base. Anal fin moderately high and relatively long at base, with 17–19 rays and ventral profile convex. Caudal peduncle moderately high. Caudal fin forked, dorsal and ventral lobes relatively long, dorsal lobe somewhat longer than ventral lobe, posteriorly pointed.

Maximum length: Grows to 70 cm TL, commonly to 250 mm TL.

Coloration in alcohol. Head and body dark brown above, whitish below; dorsal surfaces of pelvic proximally black, distally lighter; anal lighter; caudal grayish to blackish ( Fig. 10View FIGURE 10).

Sexual dimorphism. Only females have well-developed fleshy protuberances or pads in basal portion of pelvics, especially during reproductive season. Vomerine tooth patches and accessory tooth patches not observed directly, but possibly showing same variation described for A. canteri  and A. jimenezi  .

Distribution and habitat. The WA Ariopsis felis  occurs in estuarine and marine waters, from Massachusetts ( US) to Yucatán, Mexico (Caribbean) ( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5).

Molecular evidence and phylogenetic relationships. Ariopsis felis  is the earliest-branching species in Ariopsis  ( Fig. 9View FIGURE 9).

Remarks. Ariopsis felis  was described based on a type specimen collected in North/South Carolina, US ( Figs. 10View FIGURE 10 a and 11a). Original description was based on features common to other species of Ariopsis  . In the present study, the identification of A. felis  is based on a combination of external and internal characters. Arius milberti  , A. equestres  and Galeichthys guentheri  are accepted as synonyms of A. felis  following Taylor & Menezes (1978). The fossil Felichthys stauroforus  (Miocene of Maryland; Lynn & Melland, 1939) appears to be very close to this species.

MNHN

Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle

USNM

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History

FMNH

Field Museum of Natural History

AMNH

American Museum of Natural History

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Actinopterygii

Order

Siluriformes

Family

Ariidae

Genus

Ariopsis

Loc

Ariopsis felis (Linnaeus, 1766)

Marceniuk, Alexandre P., Acero, Arturo, Cooke, Richard & Betancur-R, Ricardo 2017

2017
Loc

Arius felis

McEachran 1998: 361

1998
Loc

Ariopsis felis

Castro-Aguirre 1999: 152