Mormyrus longirostris Peters, 1852
Eastern bottlenose mormyrid
photo by KMFRI

Family:  Mormyridae (Elephantfishes)
Max. size:  75 cm SL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 10,000.0 g
Environment:  demersal, potamodromous
Distribution:  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).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): -0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 65-75; Anal spines: -0; Anal 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). Description: forebody and head relatively strongly decurved; females smaller and deeper bodied than males; teeth small, bicuspid, 5—7 in upper jaw, 8—12 in lower jaw; gill slits inclined on sides only (Ref. 52193). Coloration: olive grey or brown above, lighter below (Ref. 52193).
Biology:  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).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 20 June 2018 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  other
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 15.04.92
Modified by: Musschoot, Tobias - 24.03.11
Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 05.02.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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