Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Osteoglossiformes
(Bony tongues) > Mormyridae
Etymology: Mormyrus: Greek, mormyros = a fish (Sparus sp) (Ref. 45335). More on author: Peters.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous. Tropical; 11°S - 21°S
Africa: lower and middle Zambezi, Buzi, Pungwe (Ref. 52193), lower Sabi and Ludi Rivers (Ref. 42505), Luapula-Moero-Bangwelo (Zambian Congo system) (Ref. 42505, 52193). Also known from the Ruvuma and Rufiji rivers in Tanzania (Ref. 7248, 52193), lakes Malawi, Tanganyika (Ref. 4967, 52193) and Rukwa, and other eastward flowing rivers in Tanzania (Ref. 4967).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 34.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 75.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 52193); max. published weight: 10.0 kg (Ref. 52193)
soft rays: 17 - 19. Diagnosis: dorsal fin greater than twice the length of anal fin; dorsal origin nearer tip of snout than caudal fin base; snout 2-2.5 times in head length; caudal peduncle less than 4 times in standard length (Ref. 52193).
Found in caves and muddy areas, also hides among weeds (Ref. 13337). Favours quiet deep water with a soft muddy bottom (Ref. 52193). Forms shoals (Ref. 13337, 52193). Feeds on weeds (Ref. 5595) and insects but may also feed on small fishes (Ref. 5595, 52193) and fish eggs (Ref. 52193), blood worms (Ref. 13337), small crustaceans and mollusks (Ref. 13337, 52193). Active mainly at night; breeds during the rainy season, moving upstream in rivers after flood spates have receded (Ref. 52193). Migrations appears to occur at irregular interval as this fish is not a powerful swimmer and would not be able to cope with very high water current (Ref. 13337). Females carry 10,000-70,000 eggs; can give a mild shock when caught (Ref. 7248, 52193).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Gosse, J.-P., 1984. Mormyridae. p. 63-122. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ORSTOM, Paris and MRAC, Tervuren. Vol. 1. (Ref. 3203)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass 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=0.01318 (0.00710 - 0.02446), b=2.87 (2.71 - 3.03), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.46 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 4.9 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.22).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (47 of 100) .