Black ghost knifefish

Apteronotus albifrons

The black ghost knifefish is a tropical fish belonging to the ghost knifefish family . They originate in freshwater habitats in South America where ranging from Venezuela to the Paraguay–Paraná River, including the Amazon Basin. They are popular in aquaria. The fish is all black except for two white rings on its tail, and a white blaze on its nose, which can occasionally extend into a stripe down its back. It moves mainly by undulating a long fin on its underside. It will grow to a maximum length of 50 cm . It does not have scales.

Black ghost knife fish are nocturnal. They are a weakly electric fish which use an electric organ and receptors distributed over the length of their body in order to locate insect larvae.


The black ghost knifefish natively lives in fast moving, sandy bottom creeks in a tropical climate. South American natives believe that the ghosts of the departed take up residence in these fish, hence the name.

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