Malapterurus microstoma 50 cm!

27. February 2019

We usually get electric catfish from Nigeria in the form of the species Malapterurus beninensis. This is a medium sized species that grows to 20-30 cm in length. In April 2017 we received electric catfish from the Congo. From there 4 species are registered: Malapterurus monsembeensis (Syn: M. gossei), M. melanochir, M. microstoma and M. oguensis. Until a major revision in 2000 and 2002, it was believed that there were only 2-3 species at all (at present there are 18), but the shape of the head and the pattern allows to limit the range of species in question. The then Congo electric catfish were sold – except for one. We kept it to raise it and see what would become of it. Yesterday was the day, the animal was caught from its 2,500 litre rearing tank. It is now over 50 cm long. The long snout and the narrow gap of its mouth show it to be M. microstoma.

Our curiosity is satisfied, the electric catfish (which we handle very carefully in view of the electric shocks which such an animal can give out) can now go to a new owner, where it will probably grow even further. Probably M. microstoma will have a length of more than 80 cm, because specimens of 50-60 cm length examined were not yet sexually mature!

For our customers: the animal has code 146058 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers. Only one specimen available!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer