Electric Catfish

The electric catfish can discharge an electric shock up to 450 volts
Electric Catfish Scientific Classification
Electric Catfish Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Red, White, Cream
Average of 10 years
4.4kg (2lbs)
Electric Catfish Distribition

The electric catfish is a family of around 21 species that can release an electric shock from a specialized body organ.

This is not the only catfish family with an electric body organ, however its electric capacity is specifically well- established contrasted to the others. The catfish can release a shock of approximately 450 volts to safeguard itself and catch victim. The shock additionally aids them browse via the setting. The body organ is made up of gelatinlike muscle mass cells established underneath the nude skin. This discharge is not recognized to be deadly to humans, however it can however injure. The electric catfish are occasionally maintained in fish tanks as a pet.

Electric Catfish vs Electric Eel

The electric eel can supply a more powerful electric shock approximately 600 volts, however or else, it utilizes power mainly likewise.

3 Electric Catfish Realities

  • The electric catfish was when portrayed within the burial places of the old Egyptians. They called this fish “he that had actually conserved several in the sea,” since when fishers got an electric shock from this fish, they would certainly drop their whole catch in the water, consequently conserving much of them from being consumed.
  • Electric catfish are largely nighttime. They are most energetic for the initial 4 or 5 hrs after sundown. The remainder of the day is invested concealing in its sanctuary.
  • Electric catfish are extremely territorial. They will certainly make use of the electric discharge to safeguard their area versus burglars of the exact same species. The protector will generally offer an open mouth screen and after that persuade backward and forward with its curved body. If that isn’t sufficient to discourage the burglar, after that it will certainly begin to attack and release a shock. Versus burglars of a various species, they might resort straight to electric shocks.

Electric Catfish Classification and Scientific Name

The scientific name for the family of electric catfish is Malapteruridae. This name approximately equates from Greek to imply “a great deal of fin and tail.” Mala suggests a great deal of, pteron suggests fin, and oura suggests tail. There are 2 acknowledged category within this family: Malapterurus ( which consists of some 18 species) and Paradoxoglanis ( which consists of around 3 species). The scientific name Malapterurus essentially has the exact same definition as the family name, however Paradoxoglanis equates to imply paradoxical or unusual catfish.

Electric Catfish Appearance

The electric catfish appears like the majority of participants of its order. It is characterized by a long, puffy body with thick lips, little eyes, a spherical nose, and 3 sets of barbels (picking up body organs that look like hairs). This fish has actually rounded pectoral and pelvic fins however does not have the dorsal (back) fin totally. Some complete- expanded samplings from this family can conveniently come up to 4 feet long from nose to tail, however the majority of array someplace in between 2 and 3 feet generally. They are typically grey- brownish on the back and sides. This gradually discolors to white or lotion around the belly. Some have uneven black places around the sides of the body also.

Electric catfish in aquarium tank. Some of these fish can easily measure up to 4 feet long from snout to tail.
Electric catfish in aquarium storage tank. A few of these fish can conveniently come up to 4 feet long from nose to tail.Japan’s Fireworks/Shutterstock.com

Electric Catfish Distribution, Populace, and Environment

The electric catfish can be discovered in freshwater lakes and rivers throughout Africa, specifically in the substantial Nile River. They typically like slow-moving- relocating or standing water with reduced presence and great deals of concealing locations. The populace standing differs by species. According to the IUCN Red Listing, the majority of species are thought about to be species of least concern, however some are information lacking rather (indicating researchers have not collected sufficient information regarding their populace numbers). They do not show up to encounter several dangers in their wild environment.

Electric Catfish Predators and Victim

The electric catfish is among the top predators in its all-natural environment. Some species are bottom fish, while others are energetic seekers. They can root about in the dust with their lengthy barbels.

What consumes the electric catfish?

The electric catfish has couple of all-natural predators in the wild besides probably tigerfish and a couple of various other bigger sorts of fish.

What does the electric catfish eat?

The electric catfish feeds upon a variety of various fish, invertebrates, and eggs by incapacitating its victim with an electric discharge. Numerous species are believed to be slow-moving- relocating and rather less active. This suggests they are most likely opportunistic feeders that wait on food to stray via their area, or they filter gradually via the dust.

Electric Catfish Reproduction and Life Expectancy

Not a great deal is found out about the reproduction of the catfish, however if it resembles various other participants of the catfish order, it will just start generating when the water has actually gotten to a suitable temperature level. When the timing is right, the fish will certainly pair with a companion and produce a nest regarding 10 feet in size along the clay financial institutions of the river or lake. The dimension and age of the female fish will certainly frequently figure out the amount of eggs she will certainly stock the nest. The male will certainly after that feed them with his sperm. It is not recognized whether the male will certainly protect the nest versus predators, however it promises. The fry generally leaves the nest within a couple of weeks after hatching out and begins to look after themselves till totally expanded. The life-span in the wild is believed to ordinary regarding ten years.

Electric Catfish in Angling and Food Preparation

Smoked catfish are taken in as a special in some components of eastern Africa. It’s additionally captured for the pet and fish tank profession.


  1. Britannica, Available here: https://www.britannica.com/animal/electric-catfish
  2. Animal Diversity Web, Available here: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Malapterurus_electricus/
  3. Sciencing, Available here: https://sciencing.com/a-catfish-reproduce-4829150.html
  4. Badmans Tropical Fish, Available here: https://badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile113.html

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