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18 December 2008 Taxonomic Status and Redescription of the Gillbacker Sea Catfish (Siluriformes: Ariidae: Sciades parkeri)
Ricardo Betancur-R, Alexandre P. Marceniuk, Philippe Béarez
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The Gillbacker Sea Catfish is a valid species of ariid catfish from the northeastern coast of South America. There are many synonyms in the literature for the Gillbacker Sea Catfish and even recent classifications have used different scientific names. Examination of a wide range of sizes of individuals from different localities and examination of types and original species descriptions of Silurus parkeri, Bagrus flavescens, B. emphysetus, Arius physacanthus, A. bonneti, A. clavispinosus, and A. despaxi has lead us to the conclusion that all these names refer to the Gillbacker Sea Catfish and the valid name for the species is Sciades parkeri. The species is distinguished from all other ariid species by the following combination of features: body coloration yellow; swim bladder divided into three chambers, posterior chamber moderately sized; nuchal plate shield-shaped, usually larger than supraocciptal process; anterior notch of nuchal plate absent; head shield exposed and granulated in orbital and postorbital regions; lateral edge of accessory patches not emarginated or shallowly notched; fleshy furrow connecting posterior nares absent; and mesial gill rakers absent from first two gill arches. Striking intraspecific and/or ontogenetic variation in eye size, maxillary-barbel length, supraoccipital-process size, nuchal-plate size and shape, and dorsal-spine thickness contributed to the numerous synonyms and misidentifications for Sciades parkeri. Bagrus albicans, described from French Guiana, has at times been listed as a synonym of Sciades parkeri. Our examination of the holotype of B. albicans, however, led us to conclude that it is a synonym of Sciades proops.

2008 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Ricardo Betancur-R, Alexandre P. Marceniuk, and Philippe Béarez "Taxonomic Status and Redescription of the Gillbacker Sea Catfish (Siluriformes: Ariidae: Sciades parkeri)," Copeia 2008(4), 827-834, (18 December 2008).
Received: 27 September 2007; Accepted: 1 May 2008; Published: 18 December 2008

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