Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Malapteruridae
Etymology: Malapterurus: Greek, mala = a lot of + Greek, pteron = fin + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335); monsembeensis: Named for Jean-Pierre Gosse, in honor of his years of work in the Congo and collector of many important specimens of electric catfishes (Ref. 44050). More on author: Roberts.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 58.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 8954); 42.0 cm SL (female)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 9 - 12;
Vertebrae: 44 - 49. Diagnosis: large species (Ref. 34006, 78218). Tooth patches broad; obliquely angled pectoral fins positioned low on body (Ref. 44050). 17-49 (Ref. 34006) or 44-45 (Ref. 44050) vertebrae. 9-12 anal-fin rays; 19 caudal-fin rays (ii-7-8-ii); eye typically oval (along horizontal axis); caudal saddle and bar pattern poorly developed, even in juveniles; body with relatively small spots and flecks; pectoral and pelvic fin rays unpigmented (Ref. 44050). Broader mouth than M. microstoma, and fewer gill rakers and more vertebrae than either M. microstoma and M. tanganyikaensis; small dark marks rather uniformly distributed over the entire body and caudal fin, with no distinct dark or pale bars or bands, as M. microstoma and M. tanganyikaensis (Ref. 34006).
Africa: Congo River basin except for the Zambian Congo (Ref. 78218).
Female reaches up to 42.0 SL; carnivorous, feeding on fishes, crabs, and other aquatic creatures (Ref. 44050).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Roberts, T.R., 2000. A review of the African electric catfish family Malapteruridae, with descriptions of new species. Occas. Pap. Ichthyol. 1:1-15. (Ref. 34006)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.5 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (47 of 100) .