Body is moderately deep, about 25-28% SL, with the greatest depth slightly anterior to the origin of the anal fin. The length of the head 20-25% SL, its depth, 66-75% of its length. Dorsal profile convex, descending in a straight line toward the head. Snout, 40% HL. Lower jaw with a cylindrical to tapering dermal appendix which is as long or longer than the snout; teeth small, notched, 3-5 in upper 5-6 in lower. Mouth small and terminal. Nostrils close together, about one eye diameter anterior to forward margin of eye. Eye, small, its diameter about 12% of length of head. Dorsal fin base length about 20-21% SL, with 27-29 rays. Dorsal fin originates above the 10th anal ray. Anal fin base about 27-28 % SL with 34-36 rays. Predorsal distance about 62 % SL; pre-anal distance about 56% SL. Caudal peduncle length about 3.3 times its depth, about 17% SL. 8 circumpeduncular scales. Scales along the lateral line, 63-70. Caudal fin covered with scales, deeply forked. Coloration: black brown with two distinct bands in the shape of parentheses “()” running from origin of dorsal to the origin of the anal fins. The light color of these bands fades in larger specimens.
This is the best-known species of mormyrid due to its popularity in the international aquarium fish trade where it is known as the "elephantnose fish."
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