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Down arrow Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Malapterurus microstoma  Poll & Gosse, 1969
Common Names Dwarf Electric Catfish
Zitterwels (Germany)
Type Locality Yangambi, Congo River, Democratic Republic of Congo.
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.
Down arrow Species Information
Size 555mm or 21.9" 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.
Down arrow Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: restricted to the Congo River system; absent from the lowland, central portion of the basin.
African Waters, Congo (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 2009.
pH 6.0 - 7.0
Temperature 23.0-30.0°C or 73.4-86°F (Show species within this range)
Down arrow 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.
Down arrow Further Information
Reference Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique v. 45 (no. 38), pp 8, Pls. 1, 2 (fig. b), 3 (fig. b).
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There are 6 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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There are 2 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2020 Oct 24 02:31 (species record created: 2003 Oct 03 00:00)