Cat-eLog Right Arrow Malapteruridae Right Arrow Malapterurus

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Malapterurus microstoma  Poll & Gosse, 1969
Common Names Dwarf Electric Catfish
Zitterwels (Germany)
Type Locality Yangambi, Congo R., Zaire.
Pronunciation mah lah TERR oo russ - my kro stow ma
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. From the Greek mikros, meaning small and stoma, meaning mouth (or opening); in reference to the small mouth of this species.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 560mm or 22" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Easily distinguished by its narrow snout and tooth patches, and horizontally based pectoral fins placed low on the body.
General Remarks Gut contents contained large amounts of detritus along with animal remains, suggesting that this species is a generalist bottom forager rather than a strict piscivore.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Congo River drainage, west central Africa.
African Waters, Congo (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Status Least Concern
pH 6.0 - 7.0
Temperature 23.0-30.0°C or 73.4-86°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Feeds readily on all manner of frozen and live food. Will also take meaty food such as frozen meat but will only take prepared foods if nothing else is available.
Furniture A dimly lit tank with a suitably sized retreat - appears to prefer stone over wood.
Compatibility Best kept alone, given its electrogenic ability.
Breeding Possibly spawns in burrows along river banks and may exhibit brood care. Females are apparently not sexually mature until 40-50 cm SL.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Bull. Inst. R. Sci. Nat. Belg.v. 45 (no. 38) - pp8 - Pls. 1, 2 (fig. b), 3 (fig. b)
Norris, SM, 2002. A revision of the African electric catfishes, Family Malapteruridae (Teleostei, Siluriformes), with erection of a new genus and descriptions of fourteen new species, and an annotated bibliography. Annales. Sciences Zoologiques. Musée Royale de l'Afrique Centrale 289: 1-155.
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Last Update 2013 Apr 03 07:49 (species record created: 2003 Oct 03 00:00)