50-52cm Aba Aba Knife Fish (Gymnarchus niloticus)

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Aba Aba Knife Fish

(Gymnarchus niloticus)

The Aba Knife Fish Gymnarchus niloticus is unusual even for a knife type fish. It is one of the largest knife fish reaching up to 5 1/2 feet (167 cm) long (167 cm) and weighing 40 pounds (18.5 kg). Unlike most in this group, the fin that is used for locomotion is on its back instead of its belly. Other common names it is known by include Aba Aba Knifefish, Aba Khife, Aba, Freshwater Rat-tail, Frankfish, and generically as an African knife fish.

The Aba has an electricity-producing organ that runs through most of its body. Unlike the electric eel, this organ does not generate enough voltage to stun its prey so it is most likely used for navigation and finding food. But like the Electric Eel, it is the only species in its genus, and it too uses its electrical field for a variety of things. It helps the Aba Knife identifying objects in the water, including food, and gives it spatial orientation. Males use an electric 'stereotyped' communication to court females.

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