odoe is piscivorous, feeding on several species of smaller fish by laying ambush in dense vegetation, and they feed primarily on cichlids and mormyrids
The diet of this species in the upper Zambezi consisted primarily mormyrids
, followed by cichlids; small specimens (15cm SL) consumed more Barbus spp.
Squeakers or small catfish, and Mormyrids
- also known as elephantfish - hunt at night by emitting tiny electrical charges, but live in fear of a far larger predator.
Tilapia species were consumed with the highest frequency (18%), followed by Synodontis or catfish (14%) and mormyrops or mormyrids (11%).
A large number of fish species (24) were consumed in the fishing villages with tilapia, synodontis (catfish) and mormyrids dominating consumption.
Furthermore, unlike the nonhomologous electric organs of freshwater teleost fishes (notably the gymnotids and mormyrids), the skate electric organ is only intermittently active and is more variable in amplitude and temporal discharge pattern (Bennett, 1971; Bratton and Ayres, 1987).
Shifts in frequency tuning in androgen-treated mormyrid fishes.
Dr Bernd Kramer of Regensburg University in Germany was intrigued by this data, thus joined SAIAB expeditions to Okavango Swamp and Upper Zambezi River, to record electric pulses produced by various mormyrids in the region, storing them on CD's.
The results were at first paradoxical, catfish surprisingly being unable to sense the high frequency pulses over 2500 Hz, generated by the mormyrids. This problem was solved when they discovered a marked sexual dimorphism in the EOD's (electric organ discharge) of male bulldogs on becoming sexually mature, with no other mormyrid species exhibiting this.