Hippopotamyrus discorhynchus is one of six mormyrids known to occur in Lake Malawi. Like the others, it can generate a weak electric field around its body using specialized skeletal muscles, and uses this field to detect small invertebrates on which it preys at night. This species is not endemic to the lake, but occurs widely throughout central and southern Africa. It attains 31 cm (12.2 inches) in standard length (i.e., without the caudal fin) and a weight of 1.1 Kg (2.4 pounds) (FishBase). H. discorhynchus used to be classified in the genus Marcusenius. The above illustration by Hilda M. Jubb, from Jubb (1967), is used by kind permission of Mr. A. T. Balkema of A. A. Balkema Publishers, Rotterdam.
|Last Update: 11 August 2000
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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