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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Ariidae
Subfamily: Ariinae
Genus: Amphiarius
Marceniuk & Menezes, 2007
Type species
Arius rugispinis
Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1840

Amphiarius is a genus of sea catfishes (order Siluriformes) of the family Ariidae. It includes two species, the Kukwari sea catfish, A. phrygiatus, and the softhead sea catfish, A. rugispinis.[1]


A. phrygiatus and A. rugispinis were both originally described by Achille Valenciennes in 1840 as Arius species, where they have been traditionally placed. They have also been classified in the genus Notarius. Since then, it has been recognized that these two species form a natural, monophyletic grouping and were suggested to represent a new, undescribed genus. The genus Amphiarius was finally erected for these two species in 2007.[1]



Amphiarius species are distributed in marine, brackish and fresh waters of North and eastern South America.


Amphiarius are distinguished from all other ariids by the presence of accessory tooth plates that are small to moderate, roughly round, and laterally located.[1]


Like other ariid catfishes, Amphiarius species are mouthbrooders.

Relationship to humans[edit]

Both species are caught and marketed for human consumption.


  1. ^ a b c Marceniuk, Alexandre P.; Menezes, Naércio A. (2007). "Systematics of the family Ariidae (Ostariophysi, Siluriformes), with a redefinition of the genera" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1416: 1–126.