Campylomormyrus elephas

Campylomormyrus elephas (Boulenger, 1898)

Original Published Description:

Boulenger, G. A. (1898).  Matériaux pour la faune du Congo. Poissons nouveaux du Congo. Première Partie. Mormyres. Annales du Musee du Congo (Ser. Zoology). 1, 1-20, Pls. 1-9.

Common Names

Elephant-trunk mormyrid

Languages: English


General Description

From Boulenger 1909, p.120.  

Depth of body 3 to 4 times in total length, length of head 4 to 5 times. Upper profile of head descending in a very strong curve; snout much prolonged, tubiform, strongly compressed, directed downwards, its length exceeding postocular part of head, 3 to 4 times its least depth, which is 1½ diameter of eye; lower jaw with a short, wart-like, cylindrical dermal appendage as long as or a little shorter than diameter of eye; teeth conical, 3 in upper jaw, 4 in lower. Dorsal 31-35, originating above 5th ray of anal, its length 1 1/3 to 1 2/5 times its distance from head. Anal 33-37, equally distant from base of ventral and from base of caudal. Pectoral pointed, little shorter than head, extending to middle or second third of ventral, and twice as long as latter. Caudal scaled, with pointed lobes. Caudal peduncle 3 times as long as deep, as long as head or a little shorter. 70-80 scales in lateral line, 14-15 / 18-22 in transverse series on body, 13-18 / 10-16 in transverse series between dorsal and anal, 12 round caudal peduncle. Brownish above; young with a black lateral band edged with yellowish, expanding into a rhomboidal marking between dorsal and anal.

Total length 400 millim.

Ecology and Distribution


Described from Upoto (Lisala), Central Congo River.  Widespread along major Congo Basin waterways.  See FishBase records for museum holdings and localities.

Author(s): Sullivan, John P.
Rights holder(s): Sullivan, John P.


associated with rapids

Author(s): Sullivan, John P.
Rights holder(s): Sullivan, John P.


  • Gnathonemus elephas Boulenger, 1898 (synonym)


Boulenger, G. A. (1898).  Matériaux pour la faune du Congo. Poissons nouveaux du Congo. Première Partie. Mormyres. Annales du Musee du Congo (Ser. Zoology). 1, 1-20, Pls. 1-9.
Boulenger, G. A. (1899).  A revision of the genera and species of fishes of the family Mormyridae. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London. 1898, 775-821.
Boulenger, G. A. (1909).  Catalogue of the Fresh-Water Fishes of Africa in the British Museum (Natural History). I, 373. London: British Museum (Natural History).
David, L., & Poll M. (1937).  Contribution à la faune ichthyologique du Congo Belge: Collections du Dr. H. Schouteden (1924-1926) et d'autres récolteurs. Annales du Musée du Congo Belge (Série 1). 3 (fasc. 5), 189–294.
Feulner, P. G. D., Kirschbaum F., Mamonekene V., Ketmaier V., & Tiedemann R. (2007).  Adaptive radiation in African weakly electric fish (Teleostei: Mormyridae: Campylomormyrus): a combined molecular and morphological approach. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 20(1), 403 - 414. Abstract
Harder, W. (2000).  The Mormyridae and other Osteoglossomorpha (CD-ROM). World Biodiversity Database, CD-ROM Series. 2000, New York: Springer Verlag, ETI-UNESCO.
Poll, M. (1939).  Les Poissons du Stanley-Pool. Annales du Musée du Congo belge. C.–Zoologie Série I.. 4, 1-60.
Poll, M. (1967).  Contribution à la Faune Ichthyologique de l'Angola. Publicações Culturais. 381. Lisbon: Companhia de Diamantes de Angola.
Poll, M., Gosse J. - P., & Orts S. (1982).  Le genre Campylomormyrus Bleeker, 1874, étude systematique et description d'une espece nouvelle (Pisces, Mormyridae). Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences de Belgique Biologie. 54, 1–34, Pls. 1–13.
Roberts, T. R., & Stewart D. J. (1976).  An ecological and systematics survey of fishes in the rapids of the Lower Zaïre or Congo River. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 147, 239–317.
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