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Acanthodoras is a genus of catfishes (order Siluriformes) of the family Doradidae. It includes three species, A. cataphractus, A. depressus, and A. spinosissimus.
Acanthodoras species are distributed in South America. A. cataphractus is found in the Amazon River basin and coastal drainages of French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname. A. depressus inhabits the Amazon and Rio Negro basins. A. spinosissimus originates from the Amazon and Essequibo River basins.
These catfish lack scales, but their bodies are armored with a lateral row of bony plates. The head is large and flattened. The mouth is terminal (points straight forward). There are three pairs of barbels and the eyes are small. There are no external sexual characteristics. The dorsal and pectoral fin spines are stiff and sharp and can inflict a painful wound.
A. cataphractus reaches a length of 11.5 centimetres (4.52 in) SL. A. depressus grows up to 8.1 cm (3.2 in) SL. A. spinosissimus has a maximum size of 13.7 cm (5.4 in) SL.
A. cataphractus is abundant in calm waters of swamps and mangroves. Omnivorous, they feed mainly on organic wastes; these fish search for food by digging in the sediment. These fish are nocturnal; during the day, this species lies hidden in the underwater roots and stocks. A. cataphractus is able to produce sounds; every basic unit of the sound they emit when they move their pectoral spine lasts 100-200 milliseconds and has a frequency of 170-250 Hertz.
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