Electric fish

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Electric eels can make an electrical field

An electric fish is a fish that can make electric fields.[1][2] Many fish (sharks, rays, and catfish) can detect electric fields: they are 'electroreceptive'. They cannot make electric fields, and are not called electric fish.

Strongly and weakly electric fish[change | change source]

Electric fish have a special organ that makes electricity. This organ is called an electric organ. It is usually near the tail of the fish. It is made from specialised muscle or nerve cells. When the organ releases electricity this is called an electric organ discharge (or EOD for short).[3]

Based on the strength of the EOD, the electrogenic fish are two types:

In total, there are 348 known species of electric fish, in about 56 genera. The only known species that lives in salt water are the electric rays, with 23 species.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Albert J.S. & Crampton W.G.R. 2006. Electroreception and electrogenesis. pp. 431–472. In: Evans, David H. & Claiborne, James B. (eds) 2006. The Physiology of Fishes. 3rd ed, CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-2022-4
  2. Fishes that can make electricity are electrogenic; those that can detect electric fields are called electroreceptive.
  3. Alves-Gomes J. 2001. The evolution of electroreception and bioelectrogenesis in teleost fish: a phylogenietic perspective. Journal of Fish Biology. 58 (6): 1489–1511. [1]