Electric Catfish

Malapterurus electricus

Family Malapteruridae. Distribution Africa.

Description Shape, long but thickset; thick head with small eyes that glow in the dark No dorsal fin; adipose fin far back near the tail; no spines in pectoral fin. Three pairs of barbels; fleshy lips. Color: back grayish brown; sides flesh-colored to gray; belly reddish or yellowish white, with numerous irregularly arranged dark spots. Size: up to 3ft in (1m). Sexual differences: unknown.

Environment Temperature: 73-86 °F (23-30 °C). pH and water hardness: no particular requirements; neutral, fresh water is preferable. Furnishings: well-planted tank with plenty of cover. Feeding A predator. Live food: first earthworms and lean meat in strips for young fish, later exclusively fish. Biology Behavior, it possesses electric organs, arranged in pairs along its sides Electrical discharges can be produced at will; they are used for self-defense and to stun the fish's prey. They also serve as a means of orientation in turbid waters. Reproduction: unknown. Social life: must be kept singly. Compatibility: only fishes intended as food should be put in the same tank.

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