Definitions

Gymnotus

Gymnotus

Gymnotus is the among the most species-rich group of electric knifefishes (Gymnotiformes) found in the Amazon. Some Gymnotus species live in the leaf litter and root tangles of river banks. Other species are specialized to live on floodplains within the rootmats of floating meadows. Several species are broadly adapted to live in both of these habitats. Gymnotus are nocturnal predators feeding on insects, crustaceans, and other fish. They generate weak electric fields used in locating objects, and also for communication in which the males court females using stereotyped electrical "songs".

Small scales may be present on this fish. The mouth is superior, meaning it is turned upwards. The anal fin terminates at a point near the tip of the tail. Species of Gymnotus reach up to about 100 cm in length. This is the most widespread genus of the order Gymnotiformes, extending from southern Mexico to Argentina. They also occur in Trinidad.

Species

References

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