Morphology Data of Protopterus dolloi
Identification keys
Main Ref. Boden, G., 2007
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: Body cylindrical and more elongate than in other Protopterus species (Ref. 81627). Pectoral and pelvic fins filamentous (Ref. 40587). About 85-95 scales on the longitudinal line between operculum and anus (Ref. 104724).

Description: Anguilliform body (Ref. 46852). Head length 8,5-13,0 % of total length (Ref. 81627). Eyes are small, the diameter 4,5-9,5% of head length (Ref. 81627). Three gills on each side, but absent in specimens larger than 500 mm total length (Ref. 40587, 81627). Caudal fin pointed and confluent with the dorsal and anal fins; pectoral fins, 20,5-39.0% of preanal distance and often with a basal fringe, can reach twice the head length; pelvic fins, 17,6-26,9% of preanal distance, are a little shorter than the pectoral fins (Ref. 81627). The anus is positioned either on the right or left side of the body (Ref. 81627). Cycloid scales (Ref. 46852): 80-104 scales in longitudinal line in front of the pelvic fin; 40-48 scales around the body (Ref. 40587, 81627). Number of ribs: 47-55 (Ref. 41465, 81627).

Colouration: Overall brownish or greyish (Ref. 81627). Young have black spots dorsally and on the flanks; in adults this spotting is reduced or absent anteriorly and in large specimens disappears completely (Ref. 40587, 81627). The sensory canals on the head and the body are paler than the remainder of the body (Ref. 1878, 81627).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Protopterus dolloi

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   
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 )
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