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Polypterus ornatipinnis  Boulenger, 1902

Ornate bichir
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Polypterus ornatipinnis
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Polypteriformes (Bichirs) > Polypteridae (Bichirs)
Etymology: Polypterus: Greek, poly = a lot of + Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Boulenger.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal.   Tropical; 26°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672), preferred ?

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: Congo River basin in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola (Ref. 3188) and Republic of Congo (Ref. 45477). Also reported from the Lake Rukwa drainage (Ref. 27292) and Lake Tanganyika basin (Ref. 4537, 36901, 54847).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3188)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 9 - 11; Anal spines: 14-15. Subcylindrical body (Ref. 27292, Ref. 36901). Upper and lower jaw of equal length (Ref. 36901, Ref. 42907). Number of dorsal finlets: 9-11 (Ref. 42908, Ref. 51884). Dorsal fin origin well behind pectoral fin (Ref. 4967, Ref. 42873). Ganoid scales (Ref. 27292, Ref. 42904): 58-65 lateral line scales, 38-44 scales around body, 22-27 predorsal scales (Ref. 2970, Ref. 11970, Ref. 42907, Ref. 42908). Dorsal side grey-brown colored, marbled with clear whitish spots (Ref. 11970), the belly is white to yellowish (Ref. 27292). Head finely reticulated (Ref. 42873, Ref. 42901). Fins with white spots alternating with dark spots, forming a continuous bar (Ref. 11970).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits calm waters of swamps and rivers (Ref. 11970). It feeds on worms and insect larvae when young, but takes larger food, mainly fish, when adult (Ref. 27292). It mainly hunts at night (Ref. 27292). In general they are more or less solitary fish and do not form schools (Ref. 27292).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Male starts with the balts and is the active partner (Ref. 1672). The male makes from the anal fin a sort of cup and the female lays the eggs in this cup (Ref. 1672). The male then spreads the eggs so that they attach, e.g., to plants.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Gosse, J.-P., 1984. Polypteridae. p. 18-29. 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. 3188)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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