Dipneusti (lungfishes) > Ceratodontiformes
(Australian lungfishes) > Protopteridae
Etymology: Protopterus: Greek, pro = first, in front of + Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335).
More on author: Peters.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical; 5°S - 28°S
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).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 44.3 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3498)
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).
Obligate air-breathing (Ref. 126274); Found in swamps and flood plains (Ref. 43033). Lungfishes survive for months under the dried mud of floodplains (Ref. 4967).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Gosse, J.-P., 1984. Protopteridae. p. 8-17. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). Volume I. ORSTOM, Paris and MRAC, Tervuren. 410 p. (Ref. 3498)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.6602 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00154 - 0.00981), b=3.10 (2.87 - 3.33), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.6 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Assuming tmax > 30).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100).