Malapterurus beninensis 

Scope: Global & Pan-Africa
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Siluriformes Malapteruridae

Scientific Name: Malapterurus beninensis Murray, 1855
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
French Poisson Courant
Malapterurus affinis Günther, 1864
Taxonomic Notes: Malapterurus beninensis displays marked variation in pigmentation across its range. It is possible that Malapterurus beninensis is an amalgam of two or three species, but while extreme morphotypes and pigment variants can be quite distinct, there is extensive overlap. Attempts to assign taxonomic significance to this variation were unsuccessful. Cohesive, definable taxa could not be identified in either pattern of variation or geography.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-05-01
Assessor(s): Lalèyè, P., Moelants, T. & Olaosebikan, B.D.
Reviewer(s): Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P., Paugy, D., Zaiss, R., Fishar, M.R.A & Brooks, E.
This species has a wide distribution, with no known major widespread threats. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for central and western Africa.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from Ghana to Angola. It is also present on the island of Fernando Po. A single specimen is recorded from Sierra Leona (This species is known from upper Guinean region). As no other specimens among the numerous available specimens from the upper Guinean region, this record is considered questionable (Norris 2002).

Central Africa: In Lower Guinea, Malapterurus beninensis is found from the Cross River to the Chiloango system.

Western Africa: It occurs from the lower Volta in Ghana to Cameroon. It is also possibly present in Sierra Leone.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Benin; Cameroon; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Nigeria; Togo
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information available.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Malapterurus beninensis is a benthopelagic species that can produce an electric current that is used both for prey capture and defence. It is mostly found in lowland habitats, and lives in marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is used in research for interest in its electrical discharge properties, as well as being collected for human consumption, and the aquarium trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Some populations are threatened by oil exploration in the Niger Delta. Elsewhere, there are negative impacts from agriculture, deforestation and urban development.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Part of the range of this species is within the Korup National Park. Population trends should be monitored, and habitat conservation is required.

Citation: Lalèyè, P., Moelants, T. & Olaosebikan, B.D. 2010. Malapterurus beninensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T182641A7932825. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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