Porichthys porosissimus

Super Group: 
Cuvier 1829
Batrachus porosissimus (Cuvier, 1829)


Diagnosis_genus: Porichthys Girard. Batrachoidid fishes characterized by the following features: Two dorsal spines (with no poison sacs at their bases) and a single, strong opercular spine, all without grooves; pectoral axillary gland absent; discrete glands present between bases of uppermost pectoral-fin rays; suboperculum poorly developed, without a spine; some of the teeth canine-like; body scaleless; four lateral lines; photo phores present on head and body, these arranged in numerous rows that usually follow the courses of the lateral lines. Description.-Body rather elongate, tapering, and compressed posteriorly; head depressed, two-thirds as broad as long, the lower jaw projecting considerably; maxillary extending beyond eye, its length going about twice in head; premaxillaries non-protractile; frontal region depressed, forming a triangular area below level of temporal region, its median ridges very low; orbit small, its greatest horizontal diameter going about seven times in head; bony interorbital narrow, with shallow grooves; a deeply crescentic-shaped, pale, translucent area below eye; below translucent area a larger blue-black area, broadly semicircular in shape, covering the preorbital and suborbital regions, bounded below and behind by a row of mucal pores; gill opening extending from upper edge of pectorals obliquely downward to below and just behind insertion of pelvic fin; no frenum connecting gill membranes; branchiostegals six in number; soft dorsal fin long and low, extending from midway above pectoral base to base of caudal fin, and usually not adnate to caudal fin (adnate only in P. greenei); anal fin long and low, without spines, commencing beneath second or third dorsal ray and extending posteriorly to caudal fin; anal fin usually not adnate to caudal fin (adnate only in P. greenei); pectoral fin broad, usually bluntly pointed (rounded only in P. greenei), and relatively long, extending posteriorly to from sixth to eighth dorsal soft ray; dorsal soft rays 29 to 39; anal rays 27 to 37; pectoral rays 14 to 20; pelvic rays I, 2; total caudal elements 15; principal (long) caudal rays 6 + 7 = 13; total vertebrae 39 to 46 (no data on eastern Pacific species); four lateral lines on side of head and body, these usually with cirri (cirri absent only in P. greenei); apex of branchiostegal photophore series either joined in a broad V (Fig. 1, b), with a U-shaped, forward-directed commissure (Fig. 1, a), or with a short, median, forward-directed branch (in P. greenei only); minute photophores usually present around pores of dorsal branch of lateral line (absent only in P. greenei); teeth in single row on vomer, palatines, and premaxillary, and on all but anterior part of dentaries, where they are in two rows; teeth on dentaries large (except for inner row near front of bone), strongly hooked inward; lateral teeth hooked either forward or backward and inward; a smaller supplementary canine tooth (adjoining main canine) often present in upper jaw, varying considerably in size from individual to individual or even in the same individual; usually four or five large teeth on palatines, these often interspersed with an equal or greater number of small teeth; peritoneum black; air bladder more or less deeply divided into two lateral parts; no pyloric caeca.
Diagnosis_species: Batracus porisissimus Cuvier. Ont la tête aplatie horizontalement, plus large que le corps, la gueule bien fendue, l'opercule et le sous-opercule épineux; six rayons aux ouïes; des ventrales étroites, attachées sous la gorge, et qui n'ont que trois rayons, dont le premier alongé et élargi, des pectorales portées par un bras court, résultant de l'alongement des os du carpe. Leur première dorsale est courte, soutenue de trois rayons épineux, la seconde molle et longue , ainsi que celle de l'anus qui lui répond. Souvent leurs lèvres sont garnies de filaments. Ceux qu'on a disséqués ont l'estomac en sac oblong, des intestins courts, et manquent de coecums. Leur vessie natatoire est profondément fourchue en avant. Ils se tiennent cachés dans le sable pour tendre des embûches aux poissons, comme les baudroies et les plalycéphales. On croit les blessures faites par leurs piquants dangereuses. Il y en a dans les deux Océans. Les uns ont la peau lisse et fongueuse, et un lambeau cutané sur l'oeil. D'autres l'ont garnie d'écaillés, et manquent de lambeaux sur l'oeil. On pourrait en séparer qui manquent d'écaillés et de barbillons, et ont des ligues de pores percés à la peau (batracus porosissimus), et des dents crochues à la mâchoire inférieure.
Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 34-36; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 33. Body without scales. Four lateral lines. Upper side of body greyish brown, silvery on side, yellowish on belly. Seven dark broad bands on upper part of body. Tip of each fin blackish. Dark blotches on fin membrane of dorsal and pectoral fins. Pelvic fin yellowish.
Body_adults_lenght: 30 cm
Body_length_sexual_maturity: 15.5 cm
Toxicity: Yes (Lopez-Ferreira et al. 2014)


Porichthys: Greek, poros = porous + Greek, ichthys = fish.

Type species

The type species for the genus porichthys is Porichthys notatus (Jordan & Gilbert, 1883).

Type illustration / Type locality / Type specimen

Type locality: Coast of South America.
Type sepcimen: Porichthys plectrodon


Habitat: demersal
Habitat: Southwest Atlantic: Espírito Santo, Brazil to eastern Argentina.
Migratory: Yes.
Causality_of_migration: sexual reproduction
Temporality_of_migration: Seasonal (during summer)
Substrate: water
Salinity: marine
Depth: Epipelagic (30 - 200 m)
Oxygen_level: Oxic
Temperature: >25°C

Life cycle

Reproduction_mode: sexual
Fertility_period: Seasonal (during winter and middle of summer)
Spawning_method: fertilization in the water column (Males prepare nests, usually in a cavity under a rock or shell, including objects discarded by humans such as cans or bottles. Males attract females by vocalizations, and then females lay large, adhesive eggs and leave the area. Males guard and fan the eggs until after hatching. The young may remain in the nest after hatching, still attached to the nest surface and even after free swimming. The plainfin midshipman has two types of males, larger nest holding ones and smaller sneaker males that dart into nests attempting to fertilize eggs of a nesting pair)

Sexual_dimorphism: There are three genders of midshipman fish: females, type I males, and type II males. Type I and type II males have different reproductive strategies, and can be distinguished from each other based on physical characteristics. Type I males are eight times larger in body mass, and have much larger vocal organs. Type II males’ reproductive organs are seven times larger in size than those of type I males. Female and type II male midshipman fish can be distinguished from each other by the female’s slightly larger size, and the type II male midshipman’s large reproductive organs.

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming


Observation site(s)


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