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Electric catfish (family Malapteruridae) is the common name of several species of freshwater catfish with the ability to produce an electric shock of up to 350 volts using electroplaques of an electric organ.


Electric catfish are found in several parts of Africa. Electric catfish are usually nocturnal and feed primarily on other fish, incapacitating their prey with electric discharges. They can grow as large as 90 cm (3 feet) long and over 18 kg (40 pounds) in weight. Electric catfish were known as far back as the ancient Egyptians.

There are two genera and over 12 species known, most of which are dwarf species less than 30 cm (12 inches) long.

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 Kingdom: Animalia

 Phylum: Chordata

 Class: Actinopterygii

 Order: Siluriformes

 Family: Malapteruridae

 Genus: Malapterurus