Polypterus congicus Boulenger, 1898
Polypterus congicus
photo by van Uitert, K.

Family:  Polypteridae (Bichirs)
Max. size:  97 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 4,380.0 g
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; depth range 0 - 10 m
Distribution:  Africa: widespread in the Congo River basin; also present in Lake Tanganyika (Ref. 43033, 88113).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 12-15; Anal spines: 12-15. Compressed body (Ref. 42908, Ref. 43035). Lower jaw prominent, longer than upper jaw (Ref. 36901). Number of dorsal finlets: 12-15 (Ref. 42908). Pectoral fin reaching dorsal fin origin (Ref. 45485). Ganoid scales (Ref. 42904, Ref. 43035): 55-59 lateral line scales, 46-52 scales around body, 11-16 predorsal scales (Ref. 2970, Ref. 36901, Ref. 42908, Ref. 44840, Ref. 45485). Dorsal side gray colored, ventral side paler, yellowish, with 6 to 9 darker transversal bars (Ref. 41580, Ref. 43035). Fins with weak blackish spots (Ref. 41580).
Biology:  This carnivorous fish lives in streams, lakes and zones of flood (Ref. 4910, Ref. 41580). In Lake Tanganyika it is mostly found at the mouth or delta of rivers and lagoons (Ref. 36901). Not commercially important (Ref. 4967).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 16 February 2009 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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