Mormyrus longirostris

Mormyrus longirostris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Osteoglossiformes
Family: Mormyridae
Genus: Mormyrus
Species: M. bernhardi
Binomial name
Mormyrus bernhardi
W. K. H. Peters, 1852

Mormyrus longirostris, commonly referred as the eastern bottle-nosed mormyrid, is a medium-sized fish species belonging to the elephant-snout fish family Mormyridae. It was originally described by Wilhelm Peters in Monatsberichte der Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1852.[2]

This species grows to a maximum length of 75 centimetres (30 in) and can weigh up to 10 kilograms (22 lb). The dorsal fin is more than twice the length of the anal fin. The dorsal origin is nearer to the tip of the snout than to the caudal fin base.


It primarily feeds on weeds and insects, but also on other small invertebrates, such as small fish and fish eggs. They hunt using electricity and can give a mild electric shock to defend itself.

Range and habit

M. longirostris can be found in abundance across the plains of Africa in freshwater habitats, including the lower and middle Zambezi, lower Sabi and Ludi rivers and in the Luapula-Moero-Bangwelo (Zambian Congo system). It inhabits the Ruvuma and Rufiji rivers in Tanzania, lakes Malawi, Tanganyika and Rukwa and other eastward-flowing rivers in Tanzania.

The species lives in caves and muddy areas with soft bottoms. It hides in weeds and characteristically forms small shoals.

Life history/behavior

Active mostly at night, it breeds during the summer rainy season, moving upstream in rivers after water has receded, with migrations at irregular intervals. Females carry 10,000–70,000 eggs at a time.

Relationship to humans

The fish is harvested for food with bait and hook.[3]


The eastern bottlenose mormyrid is classified as least concern on the IUCN Red List.[1]


  1. 1 2 R. Bills; A. Getahun; J. Kazembe; B. Marshall & T. Moelants (2010). "Mormyrus longirostris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  2. Günther, Albert (1866). Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. 6. London: Taylor and Francis. p. 216. OCLC 6392489.
  3. Skelton, Paul H. (2001). "Eastern bottlenose / oostelike bottelneus, Mormyrus longirostris Peters, 1852". A Complete Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik. pp. 95–96. ISBN 9781868726431.

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