Peters's elephantnose fish is native to the rivers of West and Central Africa, in particular the lower Niger River basin, the Ogun River basin and the upper Chari River. It prefers muddy, slowly moving rivers and pools with cover such as submerged branches. The fish is a dark brown to black in colour, laterally compressed (averaging 23–25 cm (9.1–9.8 in)), with a rear dorsal fin and anal fin of the same length. Its caudal or tail fin is forked. It has two stripes on its lower pendicular. Its most striking feature, as its names suggest, is a trunk-like protrusion on the head. This is not actually a nose, but a sensitive extension of the mouth, that it uses for self-defense, communication, navigation, and finding worms and insects to eat. This organ, called the Schnauzenorgan, is covered in electroreceptors, as is much of the rest of its body. The elephantnose uses a weak electric field, which it generates with specialized cells called electrocytes, which evolved from muscle cells, to find food, to navigate in dark or turbid waters, and to find a mate. Peters's elephantnose fish live to about 6–10 years.