Gymnotus carapo  Linnaeus, 1758

Banded knifefish
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Gymnotus carapo
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Gymnotiformes (Knifefishes) > Gymnotidae (Naked-back knifefishes)
Etymology: Gymnotus: Greek, gymnos = naked (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 7.5; dH range: ? - 15; potamodromous (Ref. 51243).   Subtropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 19.4, range 25 - ? cm
Max length : 76.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 79585); max. published weight: 1.2 kg (Ref. 79585)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Central and South America: southern Mexico to Paraguay, including Trinidad.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Aggressive (Ref. 27188). Inhabits turbid slow moving or standing waters (Ref. 11225). Found also in shallow edges of streams (Ref. 75964). Can survive when ditches, canals and small ponds dry out. (Ref. 11225). Feeds mainly at night on worms, insects (e.g. odonate larvae), shrimps, fish (preferably small characids, e.g. Ctenobrycon and Curimata) and plant matter (Ref. 7020; 10011). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Mouth brooding by males is observed in this species (Ref. 55570). Males provide parental care in nests excavated for eggs and larvae (Ref. 55570). Uses its long anal fin for locomotion. Can distinguish between a `friendly neighbor' and a potentially `threatening stranger' based on electric organ discharge (EOD) waveform alone (Ref. 10011). Relationship between EOD pattern and agonistic behavior in this species has been demonstrated (Refs. 10531, 10532, 10533). Shows auditory abilities, responding best to a frequency of 1000 Hz, with an upper limit above 5000 Hz (Ref. 10831). Also responds to vibratory stimuli (water waves: 125-250 Hz) with transient increase in EOD rate (Ref. 10834). 'Prefers' temperatures of 24-25°C (Ref. 10836).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Parental care is provided by the male. The male sits on a depression with its anal fin expanded horizontally guarding a cluster of larvae. More larvae are spread out in leaf litter up to 2 m away (Ref. 55570).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Campos-da-Paz, Ricardo | Collaborators

Campos-da-Paz, R., 2003. Gymnotidae (Naked-back knifefishes). p. 483-486. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre EDIPUCRS, Brasil. (Ref. 36692)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
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Internet sources

Alien/Invasive Species database | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00372 (0.00153 - 0.00900), b=3.09 (2.87 - 3.31), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.56 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (37 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.