Malapterurus stiassnyae Norris, 2002

Family:  Malapteruridae (Electric catfishes)
Max. size:  30 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; freshwater
Distribution:  Africa: broadly distributed in Upper Guinean basins east of the Fouta Dialon uplands, from the Bofon River (Guinea) to the St. Paul River (Liberia); also verified from the Cavally basin (Ref. 44050, 57130).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): -0; Dorsal soft rays (total): -0; Anal spines: -0; Anal soft rays: 8-11; Vertebrae: 38-42. Diagnosis: body elongate and cylindrical; tooth patches narrow; vertically based pectoral fins positioned at the body mid-depth; 8-11 anal-fin rays; usually more than 17 gill rakers on first arch; 2 ventral unbranched and 7-8 branched caudal-fin rays; 8-11 pectoral-fin rays; caudal saddle and bar pattern well developed in juveniles and young; caudal fin darkly pigmented in adults; caudal saddle and bar merged dorsally in specimens in which they are still visible (Ref. 44050). Description: head deep and cylindrical; body elongate and fusiform, not depressed; eyes lateral and relatively large; jaws equal; 16-18 abdominal vertebrae; 21-24 caudal vertebrae; 19 caudal-fin rays (arrangement usually ii-7-8-ii, but also iii-7-8-ii and ii-6-8-ii) (Ref. 44050, 57130). Coloration: body and head bicolored; dorsum light brown (or grey or blue-grey), with venter much lighter, but still marked with a diffuse speckling of dark pigment; underside of head dusky; dorsum and flank well marked with mostly small spots, few more than 2-3 times an eye diameter, with a few small spots scattered on venter; paired fins dusky, rarely bearing spots; anal fin darkly pigmented throughout with a clear distal margin, often also bearing scattered small spots; caudal fin darkly pigmented with a well defined pale distal margin, and a pale basal crescent in young; caudal saddle and bar pattern prominent in juveniles and young, growing fainter with increasing size and largely gone by 140mm SL; when still visible, the caudal bar and saddle are broadly merged across the dorsal 2/3 of the flank, leaving a fairly small portion of the pale interspace visible ventrally; adipose fin darkly pigmented, with a pale distal rim; tiny juveniles are largely unpigmented with very faint spotting or caudal barring (Ref. 44050).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 23 April 2020 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless
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