Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Malapteruridae
Etymology: Malapterurus: Greek, mala = a lot of + Greek, pteron = fin + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335); shirensis: Geographic name, in reference to the Zambezi River system, to which this species is restricted (Ref. 44050). More on author: Roberts.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical
Africa: known only from Zambesi river basin.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 37.2 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 44050)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 9 - 11;
Vertebrae: 40 - 45. Medium-sized species probably attaining over 300 mm; vertebral counts 23+19+42(2); tooth bands moderately large, laterally and longitudinally moderately broad. Distinguished from the species in the Congo basin by its coloration, with relatively large blotches similar with M. electricus and M. minjiriya. Resembles M. electricus but differs in having more vertebrae (45 vs. 41-44), fewer gill rakers, and oral tooth bands that are laterally and longitudinally somewhat shorter. Holotype and paratype from the Shire have 2+21=23 and 3+18=21 gill rakers on the first gill arch (Ref. 34006). Tooth patches narrow; pectoral fin placed near the body mid-depth; 9 pectoral-fin rays; 9-11 anal-fin rays; total number of vertebrae 40-41; 7-8 branched caudal-fin rays; large blotches on dorsum and flank; base color grey; caudal fin at most lightly spotted (Ref. 44050).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Roberts, T.R., 2000. A review of the African electric catfish family Malapteruridae, with descriptions of new species. Occas. Pap. Ichthyol. 1:1-15. (Ref. 34006)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (35 of 100) .