Protopterus amphibius (Peters, 1844)
Gilled lungfish
Protopterus amphibius
photo by Hippocampus-Bildarchiv

Family:  Protopteridae (African lungfishes)
Max. size:  44.3 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; freshwater
Distribution:  Africa: East African coastal regions from Somalia and Kenya, and delta of Zambezi River (Ref. 3498). Reported from Lake Rukwa basin and flood plains of Ruaha and lower Rufiji (Ref. 4967, 41366, 89002), but this species was never positively identified from Tanzania (Ref. 27292). The presence of this species in southern Africa also requires confirmation (Ref. 7248, 52193).
Diagnosis:  Diagnosis: distance snout to origin of dorsal fin 1.4-1.7 times head length, or 45-56% distance snout to vent (Ref. 7248, 52193). Description: head large (more than 30% distance snout to vent); pectoral fins filamentous with broad membranes (Ref. 7248, 52193). 35-37, sometimes more than 40, scales in a longitudinal series between the operculum and ventral fins (Ref. 41465). 27-30 pairs of ribs; 3 external gills on each side of the body (Ref. 41467). Coloration: uniform blue- or slate grey, with small or inconspicuous black spots; belly pale grey; head dark below with white spots or vermiculations (Ref. 7248, 52193).
Biology:  Found in swamps and flood plains (Ref. 43033). Lungfishes survive for months under the dried mud of floodplains (Ref. 4967).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 01 May 2009 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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