Fun Kingklip Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 20, 2022 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Some of the most interesting kingklip facts you need to know.

Kingklip, also known as cusk eel, is a type of eel species that is scientifically known as Genypterus capensis. There are more than 30 species of eel and kingklip is one of them which has an elongated body with smooth or slimy skin with no scales.

They are found in temperate waters and it is a South African species prized as food or delicacy. It is a prehistoric-looking monster that can weigh up to 529 oz (15 kg).

They have a relatively slow growth process, but live long and grows bigger. The kingklip is known for their meat or good fillets, as a delicacy around the world.

The slender Kingklip is a deep-water demersal fish endemic to Southern Africa. They are caught mostly by trawlers, often by hook and line or as bycatch, and marketed as cusk eel in Europe.

The fish is mainly used for the purpose of culinary consumption, and thereby their population has declined drastically over the past few years. Ling, congrio, golden, red and black kingklip are the different species or different names of the kingklip used in different regions.

To know more about other interesting fish species, you should visit common snook and sardines facts too.

Kingklip Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a kingklip?

Kingklip is a fish type of animal, which is also known as cusk eel.

What class of animal does a kingklip belong to?

A kingklip belongs to Actinopterygii or ray-finned fishes class of animal.

How many kingklips are there in the world?

The total population of the kingklip fish is unknown, but they are a threatened species with a declining population due to certain factors, and human is one of them.

Where does a kingklip live?

Kingklip is generally found in waters as deep as 50-550 m. They prefer living in waters with a good level of water temperature, while the juvenile lives in shallow water depths. They can be found abundantly in South Africa, on the West Coast, and in Cape.

What is a kingklip's habitat?

The kingklip habitat consists of freshwater, saltwater, and even in sea or ocean waters. They favor tropical regions for their settlement. They stay in deep waters with their young and often make holes underground in muds and live in between rocks. Kingklips are mostly present on the coast of Australia, South Africa, the Cape, and other coastal regions too.

Who do kingklips live with?

The kingklip, Genypterus capensis, usually stay alone or with its group at times, and during the breeding season.

How long does a kingklip live?

The kingklip cusk eel species can live up to 20 years and even more. They have a long lifespan compared to other fish species.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction details and process of the fish are uncertain. Females grow faster than male kingklip, and spawning occurs on both the western and southern Cape coast from autumn to spring.

The spawning peaks between June and September and the kingslips are known to form large spawning aggregations. They spawn on open waters while scattering them all over the place, but not all live to adulthood since some do not survive or get eaten by other small fishes.

What is their conservation status?

The kingklip conservation status has been titled as Threatened due to their declining population which is a great threat for the future. In some regions, their presence has drastically declined because of extreme climate conditions and commercial overfishing by humans.

Kingklip Fun Facts

What do kingklips look like?

The kingklips, which is the family of eel, are elongated fish with the posterior part of the body tapering to a point. Both anal and dorsal fins are extended along the body margins and are joined to the tail of the fin.

Also, the cusk eel has small, slender pelvic fins which are attached just behind its lower jaw. Although the skin feels smooth, minute scales are present in the body, and they are mottled pinkish-brow color.


How cute are they?

The kingklip is not very cute to look at, rather scary with its scaleless skin and big head accompanied by teeth.

How do they communicate?

The communication between these fish species is unknown or unidentified since they are rarely found making any kind of communication, sounds, or behavior.

How big is a kingklip?

The kingklip is still among the medium-sized fish in the sea even though they weigh up to 15 kg. But it is 10 times bigger than the Atlantic mackerel fish.

How fast can a kingklip swim?

The kingklip swimming speed is unknown, but as they tend to live underwater in depths, they may have a good swimming speed and skills. These fish species are often known to float smoothly in water when swimming due to their elongated smooth body.

How much does a kingklip weigh?

The cusk eel kingklip weight can range between 450-529 oz (12-15 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female of this fish species are not known separately or given separate names.

What would you call a baby kingklip?

The young of the kingklip is simply known as baby kingklip or cusk eel.

What do they eat?

The kingklip diet generally consists of squid, small fishes, mantis shrimp, hake, and sometimes even seaweeds.

Are they rare?

Considering their decline in population and high prized meat, they are quite rare, but not very rare. They can be found abundantly in South Africa.

Would they make a good pet?

The kingklips' preference for deep waters as their habitat makes it difficult to have them as pets in aquariums. Being carnivorous fish, they may not make a good pet either.

Did you know...

Kingklips are also known as Kaapse koningklip.

The name kingklip comes from the old Dutch 'koningklipvisch', which translates to 'king of rocks'. It got its name from the fact that they live in deep waters, in rocky surroundings for their habitat.

Eating kingklip

Mostly caught in South Africa, the kingklip is one of the most famous fish recipes you will on South African menus, and they are often caught as by-catch.

In Cape Town, South Africa, the meat of this fish is highly prized and served in different recipes. It has white fat meat fillets that are fried or kept on the grill to have the best of its taste.

The kingklip taste is slightly sweet and meaty, and is extremely suitable to serve with different kinds of seasoning and styles of cooking.

There are more than 10 kingklip recipes that can be found across the world. Grilled kingklip fillet, steam or fried kingklip, cusk eel soup boiled with bamboo shoot and lemongrass with seasonings are quite famous on the kingklip recipe list that you would want to try.

The kingklip fish taste is unique and regarded as extremely tasty and unlike other fish species with high mercury and fat, the white cusk eels are low in mercury and fillets are safe for daily consumption.

Where to buy kingklip fish in the USA?

The kingklip can be found in the USA where they are caught off of the coast of Florida in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. They are mostly found as fillets freshly packed in seafood grocery stores in the USA, but they may have hefty prices since it is an exotic cuisine.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including eels, or dogtooth tuna.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Kingklip coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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