Morphology Data of Protopterus amphibius
Identification keys
Main Ref. Skelton, P.H., 2001
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features striking fins
Body shape lateral elongated
Cross section circular
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout more or less normal
Position of mouth terminal
Type of scales

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).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Protopterus amphibius

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes continuous with caudal fin
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   0 - 0
Ventral  0 - 0
Spines total
Soft-rays total
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes pointed; confluent

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total
Soft-rays total

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  other (see Diagnosis)
Pelvics Attributes  reduced to filaments
Position    abdominal  behind origin of D1
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Comments & Corrections
Back to Search
cfm script by eagbayani, 17.10.00, php script by rolavides, 13/03/08 ,  last modified by sortiz, 06.27.17