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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Gafftopsail Sea Catfish Bagre marinus

The most conspicuous feature of the gafftopsail sea catfish is the pair of very long mouth barbels that extend back almost to the end of the pectoral fins. The gafftopsail sea catfish has another pair of short barbels under the chin. The first rays of the large dorsal fin and the pectoral fins are drawn out as long, flat filaments and these fins also have a venomous serrated spine. When threatened, the gafftopsail sea catfish erects its dorsal fin and spreads out its pectoral fins like the sails of a yacht.

Gafftopsail Sea Catfish habitat mapzoom image
  • Order Siluriformes
  • Length Up to 28 in (70 cm)
  • Weight Up to 10 lb (4.5 kg)
  • Depth To 160 ft (50 m)
  • Distribution Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and subtropical waters of western Atlantic