Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfishes) > Malapteruridae
Etymology: Malapterurus: Greek, mala = a lot of + Greek, pteron = fin + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335); beninensis: The specific epithet is geographic, in general reference to southern Nigeria, where the types originated (Ref. 44050)
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; depth range - m (Ref. ), usually - m (Ref. ). Tropical; 0°C -
Africa: coastal plain of West and Central Africa from the lower Volta River (Ghana) to the Chiloango system (Angola and Congo DR)(Ref. 44050, 57130, 81645), and on the island of Fernando Po (Ref. 44050).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 22.3 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 34006)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 8 - 11;
Vertebrae: 33 - 38. Diagnosis: body cylindrical; tooth patches narrow; vertically oriented pectoral fins, placed near body mid-depth; 6-7 branched caudal-fin rays; pectoral-fin rays usually 8, rarely 7 or 9; 34-38 vertebrae; eyes relatively small, interorbital space relatively broad; caudal saddle and bar pattern quite distinct in juveniles and young and usually apparent in adults (Ref. 44050), but often subdued (Ref. 81645). Dorsum and flank nearly always spotted, sometimes extensively (Ref. 44050, 81645). Commonly 10-15 gill rakers on first arch (total range 4-22)(Ref. 44050). Caudal saddle and anal-fin pigmentation not continuous (Ref. 44050, 81645). Venter often dusky, occasionally lightly spotted (Ref. 81645).
Mostly occurs in lowland habitats (Ref. 81645).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Norris, S.M., 2002. A revision of the African electric catfishes, family Malapteruridae (Teleostei, Siluriformes), with erection of a new genus and descriptions of fourteen new species, and an annotated bibliography. Ann. Mus. R. Afr. Centr., Sci. Zool., 289:1-155. (Ref. 44050)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01148 (0.00463 - 0.02844), b=3.00 (2.79 - 3.21), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.4 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (17 of 100) .