Cladistii (bichirs) > Polypteriformes
(Bichirs) > Polypteridae
Etymology: Polypterus: Greek, poly = a lot of + Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335); polli: Named in honor of Prof. Max Poll (Ref. 46409).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical
Africa: lower and middle Congo River basin (Ref. 28149, 46409) in Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 32.1 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 28149)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 5 - 7;
soft rays: 14;
Vertebrae: 50 - 56. Cylindrical body (Ref. 28149, Ref. 46409). Upper jaw a little longer than lower jaw (Ref. 28149). Number of dorsal finlets: 5-7 (Ref. 28149, Ref. 51884); used to distinguish Polypterus palmas polli from P. p. palmas and P. p. buettikoferi (Ref. 28149). Pectoral fin not reaching dorsal fin origin (Ref. 28149). Ganoid scales (Ref. 42904): 52-55 lateral line scales, 32-39 scales around body, 22-28 predorsal scales (Ref. 28149, Ref. 51884). Dorsal surface and flanks with large black blotches, forming a dense reticulate pattern, ventral surface uniform pale (Ref. 28149). The fleshy base of the pectoral fin with a large grey to black spot (Ref. 28149, Ref. 46409). Dorsal fin spotted, pectoral fin with a striped pattern in some specimens, pelvic fin pale and anal fin sometimes slightly colored (Ref. 28149).
Facultative air-breathing (Ref. 126274); This entomophagous fish lives in swamps and zones of flood (Ref. 41580).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Suzuki, D., M.C. Brandley and M. Tokita, 2010. The mitochondrial phylogeny of an ancient lineage of ray-finned fishes (Polypteridae) with implications for the evolution of body elongation, pelvic fin loss, and craniofacial morphology in Osteichthyes. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10:1-12. (Ref. 88084)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5002 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00457 (0.00194 - 0.01077), b=3.05 (2.85 - 3.25), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.40 se; based on food items.
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100).