electric eel

Scientific name Electrophorus electricus
Descriptor Linnaeus
Year of description 1766
IUCN category LC
Family Gymnotidae
Genus Electrophorus
Electrophorus electricus Electrophorus electricus


Electrophorus electricus, commonly known as electric eel, is a fresh water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    200 cm
  • Maximum size
    250 cm
  • Shape
  • Average size
    200 cm
  • Maximum size
    250 cm
  • Shape

How to recognize the electric eel ?

The electric eel measures between 200 and 250 cm.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The electric eel hunts in the stalk and is one of the predators of its biotope. Opportunistic, it does not hesitate to attack any smaller animal nearby.

The electric eel is a fish solitary naturally found on the bottom. This species is carnivorous .

Although the electric eel is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


Life-threatening species

  • Venomous
  • Electrocute

In the most serious cases, it can cause death.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

Biotope presentation

The acidification of water comes from the decomposition of plants. This phenomenon changes the color of the water, which tends to turn brown. In some areas particularly rich in organic matter, the water is so dark that it is called "black water".

Species of the same biotope


Not recommended

We do not recommend keeping this species in an aquarium. It has unpredictable needs which, if not met, generate significant stress, potentially leading to a shorter life expectancy, an interruption of its growth or the development of pathogens.

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Bibliographic references

Gas exchange and control of breathing in the electric eel, Electrophorus electricushttps://doi.org/10.1007/BF00341112 - Kjell Johansen, Claude Lenfant, Knut Schmidt-Nielsen & Jorge A. Petersen - - 1968. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie volume

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Where to see this species?

Species of the same biotope

Scientific partners

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