Electric Organs, Fishes

  • Michael V. L. Bennett
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


Electric organs, found in six groups of fishes (Fig. 1), are structures specialized to generate electric fields in the animals’ external environment. In some the voltages are large enough to stun prey or repel predators. These, the strongly electric fishes, include the electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) from South America, the electric catfish (Malapte rurus electricus) from Africa, the family of electric rays, the Torpedinidae, which are cosmopolitan and marine, and possibly the stargazers (Astroscopus sp.) of the Western Atlantic.


Current Flow Electric Organ Electric Organ Discharge Electric Fish Weakly Electric Fish 
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Further reading

  1. Bennett MVL (1971): Electric organs. In Fish Physiology Hoar WS, Randall DJ, eds. 5:347–391.Google Scholar
  2. Bennett MVL (1971): Electroreceptors. In Fish Physiology, Hoar WS, Randall DJ, eds. 5:493–574.Google Scholar
  3. Bullock TH, Heiligenberg (1985): Electroreception New York: Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael V. L. Bennett

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