Bagre marinus

Super Group: 
Mitchill 1815
Silurus marinus (Mitchill 1815)
Felichthys marinus (Mitchill 1815)
Galeichthys parrae (Valenciennes 1840)
Galeichthys blochii (Valenciennes 1840)
Galeichthys bahiensis (Castelnau 1855)
Aelurichthys longispinis (Günther 1864)


Diagnosis_Genus: Bagre Cloquet. The following exclusive and shared characters distinguishes Bagre from the remaining ariid genera: about half of anterior cranial fontanel limited by posterior branches of mesethmoid; anterior infraorbital shaped like number seven; posterior infraorbital conspicuously curved medially;  lower end of subvertebral process rounded; maxillary long and thin; maxillary condyles well developed; palatine claviform, anteriorly very broad; lower part of palatine with a bony crest; anterior process of metapterygoid very large; third basibranchial hourglass shaped its posterior portion shorter and wider than anterior; second dorsal process of cleithrum on inferior part of lateral face of this bone; maxillary barbel compressed, tape-like; one pair of mental barbells; lachrymal with two anterior and one mesial branches (shared with Batrachocephalus); occipital process ventral crest developed through the entire length of the process (shared with Amphiarius, Aspistor, Cathorops, Cephalocassis, Cinetodus, Hemiarius, Nedystoma, Nemapteryx, Pachyula and Sciades platypogon); contact face between transcapular process and basioccipital wide and depressed (shared with Amphiarius, Arius gagora, A. maculatus, A. manillensis, Aspistor, Cathorops, Cryptarius, Doiichthys, Nedystoma, Nemapteryx, Notarius, Plicofollis platystomus and Potamosilurus latirostris); parasphenoid wing process very long and thin [shared with Amphiarius, Aspistor, Cathorops (with exception of C. dasycephalus), Cochlefelis, Hemiarius, Notarius (with exception of N. planiceps), Pachyula, Plicofollis platystomus, Potamarius, Potamosilurus (with exception of P. velutinus), Sciades emphysetus, S. passany and S. proops; face for articulation between palatine and lateral ethmoid slightly displaced to the anterior portion of former bone (shared with Doiichthys); tip of urohyal medial process bifid (shared with Doiichthys); urohyal lateral processes as long as or longer than medial process (shared with Potamarius); transversal crest associated with neural spine of fourth vertebra very high (shared with Amphiarius, Batrachocephalus, Cathorops, Cinetodus, Cryptarius, Ketengus, Hemiarius, Nemapteryx, Nedystoma, Notarius planiceps, Osteogeneiosus, Pachyula and Sciades platypogon); median crest associated with neural spine of third vertebra very high (shared with Amphiarius, Aspistor, Cathorops, Cephalocassis, Cinetodus, Hemiarius,Nedystoma, Nemapteryx, Pachyula and Sciades platypogon); more than 39 caudal vertebrae (shared with Cochlefelis); base of adipose fin very short, less than one-half as long as  anal-fin base (shared with Brustiarius, Cathorops, Cryptarius, Netuma and Plicofollis (with exception of P. platystomus); pectoral-fin spine prolonged as a tape-like filament (shared with Arius madagascariensis); lateral line bifurcated at caudal region (shared with Arius, Batrachocephalus, Ketengus, Netuma, Osteogeneiosus, Plicofollis and Sciades couma), (Marceniuz & Menezes 2007).

Diagnosis_species:  Silurus marinus Mitchill. Head large, depressed. Mouth wide, bearded by long tentacula. Body lengthened, naked. First of the pectoral fins, or of the first dorsal fin, toothed backward. A splendid fish, twenty inches long; four inches deep; and three and a half wide. Taken June 30th, 1814. Two whiskers, between five and six inches long, projecting from the upper lip, near the corners of the mouth. Two cirrbi, near one inch and a half long, depending from the chin. A bony ray in front of the first dorsal fin two inches and a half long; a cartilage spliced to it, as it were, and continued two and a half inches longer, making together a dorsal projection five inches long. First rays of each pectoral fin bony, with reversed spines behind, and about three inches long; from which a cartilage is continued about three inches; making together six inches.Both the dorsal and pectoral bony rays are notched in front, but not serrated enough to hold fast or a scratch. the several cartilaginous continuations are smooth on the anterior part; but have the apparance of serae on the posterior edge. Yet these serrae are invested in a membranewhich shelters them from the touch. two dorsal fins, the foremost of which is pretty far forward, and consists of eight rays. The bindmost pretty far back, and adipose without rays. the distance between them six inches. Tail deeply forked; the extreme rays somewhat converging; but nevertheless the distance between them exceeds four inches. Skin has a silly softness. Back glossy blue, with clouds and shades of green. Lateral line almost straight. Below that the colour a silky white, down to the belly, which is a milk white. Is an exquisite fish for eating. Ventral fins far back. they are inclined somewhat to red. Dorsal and pectoral fins have more of the ruddy; and the anal and caudal most of all. Rays Br. 4. P. 13. D. 8.-2d fleshy. V. 6. A. 22. C. 19.
Body_adults_length: 50 cm
Body_max_length: 69 cm
Body_juveniles_length: 80-100 mm
Body_length_male_sexual_maturity: 54.9 cm
Body_length_female_sexual_maturity: 50.5 cm
Body_max_weight: 4.4 kg
Boday_eggs_length: 15-26 mm (at fertilization)
Sequence_5'rag1: DQ492553 (Sullivan et al. 2006)
Sequence_3'rag1: DQ492524 (Sullivan et al. 2006)
Sequence_rag2: DQ492411 (Sullivan et al. 2006)
Toxicity: Yes (Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus bacteria) (The dorsal and pectoral fins are equipped with a serrated erectile spine, both of which are venomous)


Bagre: Mozarabic, bagre, taken from Greek, pagros = a fish.

Type species

The type species for the genus Bagre is Silurus bagre (Linné, 1766).

Type illustration / Type locality / Type specimen

Type locality: New York, U.S.A.
Type catalog: Ferraris 2007:37 [ref. 29155].


Habitat: Estuarine
Habitat: Freshwater
Habitat: Western Atlantic: coast of Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, western margin of the Caribbean, and the northern margin of South America. Mainly marine but enters brackish estuaries with relatively high salinities.
Substrate: water
Salinity: marine
Salinity: variable
Salinity: freshwater
Temperature: 12 - 24°C
Depth: Epipelgic (10-40 m)
Migratory: yes. Diadromous migration. Catadromous.
Causality_of_migration: Sexual reproduction. (After spawning the period of oral incubation by male gafftopsail catfish begins. The energetic cost of incubation may be explained by the progressive decrease in the condition factor of males from July to October. This hypothesis is reinforced by the monthly variation in sex proportion during these months and November, when we noticed a progressive decrease in the number of males. This decline may be related to a migration of males from the fishing area to estuarine zones, such as Mecoacan Lagoon and the Gonzalez River, where they are known to releasejuveniles (Mendoza-Carranza 2003). Migration coincided with the end of the rainy period. This climatic change results in the salinization of the estuarine system by intrusion of marine water, which favors the migratory event.)

Temporality_of_migration: Seasonal (Durig winter) (End of rainy period)

Life cycle

Reproduction_mode: sexual
Longevity: 10 years
Fecundity_number_of_eggs: 20 - 65 (per spawning) (Numerous small, non-functioning eggs are often found attached to large, viable eggs. Gunter (1947) speculated that these smaller eggs might be utilized as a food source for males brooding offspring)
Fertility_period: Seasonal (Spring, summer, automn) (between early-April and late-October, with peaks in May (similar to stocks off the eastern USA) and August.
Spawning_method: External fertilization in the water column (Each male carries not more than 50 eggs in its mouth, usually averaging from 15 to 30)

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming

Original description

Mitchill on the Fishes of New York

Mitchill SLathan (1815) Mitchill on the Fishes of New York. In: Transactions of the Literary and Philosophical Society of New-York . Van Winkle and Wiley, New-York , p 617


Observation site(s)


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Association with... Region origin Name of site In reference...
Amyloodinium ocellatum Gulf Coast Research Laboratory