Erpetoichthys calabaricus aka reedfish, ropefish, or snakefish is a freshwater species native to West and Middle Africa. E. calabaricus has both gills, and lungs allowing it to survive on land for a time, and to survive in water with a low dissolved oxygen content. The E. calabaricus is a nocturnal creature that feeds on annelid worms, crustaceans, and insects.
Name & Synonyms Edit
In 1865 J.A. Smith named the genus Erpetoichthys which derives from the words for creeping thing and fish (creeping fish). However the same year J.A. Smith also named the genus Calamoichthys, thus making the speices Calamoichthys calabaricus, though the name Erpetoichthys calabaricus is the most commonly used.
E. calabaricus has a long serpent like body with a tail fin, and snake like head which has two fins on either side with gills behind. It can grow to be 37 cm in length and possesses both gils, and a pair of gills.
Distribution & Habitat Edit
E. calabaricus natural habitat stretching from the Ogun River (Nigeria) to the Chiloango River (Republic of the Congo). E. calabaricus naturally lives in a freshwater, or brakish environment that is warm at 22 to 28 Celsius.
Captive Care Edit
E. calabaricus are inquisitive, peaceful, and have some "personality". Since they have a peaceful nature, other fish may 'bully' a E. calabaricus, despite its large size, especially in competition for food or space. They have been known to jump out of aquariums and slither around, because they have lungs along with their gills. Although nocturnal, E. calabaricus will sometimes come out during the day, and this can be encouraged by daytime feeding of bloodworms or nightcrawlers for larger fish. Some E. calabaricus also have an inclination to stay close to the water surface, where they will be safe from other fish.