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Gnathonemus petersii  (Günther, 1862)

Elephantnose fish
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Gnathonemus petersii
Picture by Moreau, J.

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

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Osteoglossiformes (Bony tongues) > Mormyridae (Elephantfishes)
Etymology: Gnathonemus: Greek, gnathos = jaw + Greek, nema = filament (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5 - 19.   Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672)

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 35.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2915)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 25-31; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 32 - 36

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

Africa: Niger to Congo River basins (Ref. 3203).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs close to the bottom where it probes for food with the long snout. Territorial and usually aggressive towards members of its own species. This behavior has been shown to involve electric organ discharge (EOD) activity (Ref. 10011). Feeds mostly at night on worms and insects (Ref. 7020), probably aided by electro-sensory inputs (Ref. 10011). Electroreceptors are distributed over the entire head, the dorsal and ventral regions of the body, but absent from the side and the caudal peduncle where the electric organ is located (Ref. 10011). Sex-related EOD characteristics in this species has been demonstrated in the laboratory with freshly imported samples during the breeding season; such EOD dimorphism changed with time in captivity (Ref. 10764; 10766). Lead nitrate in water significantly increased EOD rate and selectively altered the EOD waveform of this species (Ref. 10469). Dubbed a `hearing specialist' having auditory abilities in the range of 100-2500 Hz, with `best frequencies' between 300 and 600 Hz (Ref. 10830). Aquarium keeping: in groups of 5 or more individuals; minimum aquarium size 150 cm; not recommended for home aquariums (Ref. 51539).

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

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Gosse, J.-P., 1984. Mormyridae. p. 63-122. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ORSTOM, Paris and MRAC, Tervuren. Vol. 1. (Ref. 3203)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5625   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01259 (0.00577 - 0.02748), b=2.84 (2.66 - 3.02), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.1   ±0.34 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.