Fun Bagre Fish Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
Jan 05, 2023 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Discover fascinating Bagre fish facts about its range, spawning, habitat, life, age, and more!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

Bagre is a genus that comprises four species of catfish. There are four species that form this genus: the Chilhuil sea catfish (Bagre panamensis), the gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus), the red sea catfish (Bagre pinnimaculatus), and the coco sea catfish (Bagre bagre). All four species belong to the family Ariidae. The species of this genus are known as Bagre fish and they can be found in the western central Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, eastern-central and southeastern Pacific regions, and the Amazon river.

Bagre genus species can be found dwelling at depths ranging between 9.8-580.7 ft (3-177 m). They inhabit locations with brackish waters like lagoons, mangroves, brackish seas, and estuaries. They range between 16-34 in (40.6-86.3 cm) in length. They can weigh anywhere between 1-13.3 lb (0.4-6 kg). Their juveniles feed upon organic matter and adults feed upon crustaceans like prawns, shrimp, and crabs. They may also consume bony fish, invertebrates, and worms. Interestingly, the gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) possesses long venomous spines that have the ability to cause painful stings! Keep reading to get to know more fun facts about the life of Bagre fish!

If you enjoyed reading our Bagre fish interesting facts, you must check out our yellowtail damselfish surprising facts and wrestling halfbeak facts for kids!

Bagre Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Bagre fish?

Bagre is a genus that comprises four species of catfish, namely the Chilhuil sea catfish (Bagre panamensis), the gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus), the red sea catfish (Bagre pinnimaculatus), and the coco sea catfish (Bagre bagre). Bagre genus species can be seen dwelling from southern North America to northern South America, along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

What class of animal does a Bagre fish belong to?

All four of the Bagre genus species belong to the class Actinopterygii.

How many Bagre fish are there in the world?

The population sizes of these species have not yet been evaluated yet. There is no particular data concerning the number of Bagre fish that exist in the world. However, they wave a wide range and are present in abundance in many locations, such as the eastern Pacific ocean. They do not face any significant threats and there is no currently observed population decline. The red sea catfish and gafftopsails are listed under the Least Concern category by the IUCN.

Where does a Bagre fish live?

Bagre genus species can be spotted from southern North America to northern South America, along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. The genus is endemic to North and South America. The gafftopsail (Bagre marinus) can be found commonly across the southeastern United States. Its range stretches to the north, as far as New York. It inhabits the northern region of South America, the western Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico's coast, and the western region of the Caribbean. The red sea catfish (Bagre pinnimaculatus) can be seen in the southeastern and eastern-central Pacific areas, that comprise Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Peru, and Nicaragua. The Chilhuil sea catfish can be found in eastern Pacific regions comprising Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, and California. The coco sea catfish is found between the Amazon river and Colombia.

What is a Bagre fish's habitat?

Bagre catfish range between depths of 9.8-580.7 ft (3-177 m). Gafftopsail catfish are found in brackish waters like brackish seas, mangroves, and estuaries. They are primarily marine creatures but they sometimes enter brackish estuaries. These catfish are opportunistic feeders over sandy and mud bottoms. They are commonly caught from reefs, piers, jetties, and bridges in the southeastern United States. The red sea catfish (Bagre pinnimaculatus) can be seen dwelling in tropical marine, freshwater, and brackish areas at a maximum depth of 66 ft (20.1 m). The Chilhuil sea catfish (Bagre panamensis) can be spotted in brackish and subtropical marine waters at depths ranging between 9.8-580.7 ft (3-177 m), but more commonly between 33-197 ft (10-60 m). The coco sea catfish (Bagre bagre) can swim up to a maximum depth of 160 ft (548.7 m).

Who do Bagre fish live with?

Catfish are known to live alone. They do not mind living solitary lives or spending time in schools.

How long does a Bagre fish live?

There is not much data regarding the life expectancy of these Bagre species. However, we do know that catfish can live for 50-60 years on average!

How do they reproduce?

Spawning takes place over inshore mudflats between May and August. These catfish are mouthbrooders, so the male carries eggs in his mouth. They do not eat food throughout this period. and they can carry a maximum of 55 eggs until they hatch. Young fish have a length of 2 in (5 cm) upon hatching. The male looks after his young until they attain a length of 4 in (10 cm).

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the gaftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) and the red sea catfish is Least Concern as per the IUCN's Red List.

Bagre Fish Fun Facts

What do Bagre fish look like?

Bagre fish range between 16-34 in (40.6-86.3 cm) in length and 1-13.3 lb (0.4-6 kg) in weight. The gaftopsail catfish ranges from dark-brown to blue-gray. It has a light-gray-colored belly and has sharp spines that support its pectoral fins and dorsal fin. It has a typical catfish appearance, except for the venomous dorsal and pectoral fins it possesses. It also has a forked caudal fin and a small hump. It looks similar to the hardhead catfish, but can be differentiated from it because of its dorsal spine.

Bagre Fish

How cute are they?

These catfish are not the prettiest of all fish species. However, they are quite unique looking.

How do they communicate?

It isn't known how Bagre species communicate. However, catfish species are known to communicate by generating drumming and stridulation sounds!

How big is a Bagre fish?

Bagre species range between 16-34 in (40.6-86.3 cm) in length. The largest gafftopsail length was 34 in (86.3 cm) and this was recorded in Texas. The red sea catfish can attain a length of 37 in (93.9 cm), but typically it grows up to 12 in (30.4 cm). The length of the red sea catfish is similar to that of the bowfin! The Chilhuil sea catfish can attain a length of 20 in (50.8 cm) and the coco sea catfish can reach 22 in (55.8 cm).

How fast can a Bagre fish swim?

There isn't much data specifying how fast a Bagre species can swim. However, we do know that catfish species can swim at a speed of 2.6 mph (4.1 kph)

How much does a Bagre fish weigh?

Bagre species can range anywhere between 1-13.3 lb (0.4-6 kg) in weight.

What are their male and female names of the species?

They do not have any specific names for males and females.

What would you call a baby Bagre fish?

Baby Bagre fish can be referred to as fry.

What do they eat?

The red sea catfish (Bagre pinnimaculatus) feeds upon the scales of bony fish. The gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) feeds upon invertebrates and small fish. It also consumes crustaceans like prawns, shrimps, and crabs. It may also consume worms and invertebrates. The coco sea catfish (Bagre bagre) feeds upon benthic crustaceans and bony fish. Bagre species are preyed upon by bull sharks, tiger sharks, and small tail sharks. Humans also feed upon the gafftopsail catfish. However, as its dorsal fin and pectoral fins possess venomous spines, this fish must be handled with care.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, these fish are quite dangerous. The gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) possesses venomous spines that have the ability to cause a painful wound. You will need to seek medical care if stung but this Bagre fish.  

Would they make a good pet?

There are no known instances of these species being kept as pets. They can grow quite long and are dangerous as well. It is not advisable to keep them as pets.

Did you know...

The red sea catfish (Bagre pinnimaculatus), is also commonly referred to as the long-barbeled sea catfish.

The gaftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) is also commonly referred to as the gafftop, sea cat, slime cat, or sail cat.

Florida catfish are poisonous. They have venom in their pectoral and dorsal spines!

How many eggs do Bagre fish lay?

Due to a lack of research, it is not known how many eggs are laid by Bagre species. However, we do know that the gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) male can carry up to 50 eggs in his mouth until they hatch!

Can you eat sailfin catfish?

Yes, you can eat sailfin catfish (Bagre marinus). However, it is quite difficult to clean this fish. It is best cooked in the shell as, afterward, the flaky white-colored meat slides out easily. The flesh is good and is sold fresh.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our sucker fish facts for kids and white cloud mountain minnow interesting facts pages!

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Bagre fish coloring pages!

Bagre fish Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small fish, invertebrates, the scales of bony fish

What Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

N/A

How Much Did They Weigh?

1-13.3 lb (0.4-6 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

lagoons, mangroves, brackish seas, estuaries

Where Do They Live?

the western central atlantic ocean, the gulf of mexico, eastern-central and southeastern pacific regions, the amazon river, and the caribbean sea

How Long Were They?

16-34 in (40.6-86.3 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Actinopterygii

Genus

Bagre

Family

Ariidae

Scientific Name

Bagre marinus, Bagre panamensis, Bagre pinnimaculatus, Bagre bagre

What Do They Look Like?

Blue-gray, dark brown, light gray

Skin Type

Wet, slimy scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

fishing

What is their Conservation Status?

Gafftopsail catfish: Least Concern Red sea catfish: Least Concern
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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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