All FishesMalapteruridaeMalapterurus

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Scientific Name Malapterurus electricus  (Gmelin, 1789)
Common Names Electric Catfish
Elektrisk Mal (Sweden), Elektrisk Malle (Denmark), Elmalle (Denmark), Zitterwels (Germany)
Type Locality Nile River at Banhā, Egypt, 30°28'N 31°11'E.
Synonym(s) Silurus electricus
Pronunciation mah lah TERR oo russ - ell eck trick uss
Etymology Malapterurus: From the Greek malakos, meaning soft, pteron, meaning fin and oura, meaning tail; presumably in reference to the adipose fin, which appears all the more prominent in the absence of the rayed dorsal fin. 
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 1220mm or 48" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Sexing Males are more slender.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: occurs in much of the Nile system (exclusive of Lake Victoria), the Lake Turkana, Lake Chad and Senegal basins, throughout the Niger system, and in smaller southward flowing basins in west Africa (rivers Bandama through Volta).
African Waters, Nile (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Nigeria Waters, Niger (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Volta (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Western Rift Valley Lakes, Tanganyika (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Chad (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Nigeria Waters, Agulu (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2019.
pH 6.5 - 8.2
Temperature 23.0-30.0°C or 73.4-86°F (Show species within this range)
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Live fish, earthworms (bloodworm for smaller fish), chopped meat or seafood. Care must be taken not to overfeed as this fishes is a real glutton.
Furniture A dimly lit tank with a suitably sized retreat - appears to prefer stone over wood.
Compatibility A loner, adult fish must be kept alone.
Suggested Tankmates None, for reasons that should be obvious!
Breeding Unknown although it is reported that (a) the fish spawn in burrows and (b) that they may be mouthbrooders.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Caroli a Linné ... Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae v. 1 (pt 3), pp 1354.
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There are 5 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2020 Oct 22 11:24 (species record created: 2001 Apr 20 00:00)