Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Polypteriformes
(Bichirs) > Polypteridae
Etymology: Polypterus: Greek, poly = a lot of + Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335); weeksii: Named after Rev. J.H. Weeks, collector of the type-specimen (Ref. 45628). More on author: Boulenger.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 54.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3188)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 9 - 11;
spines: 10-14. Body more or less compressed (Ref. 42873, Ref. 42901, Ref. 42907). Body depth 6.5 to 9.5 times in standard length; head length 4.25 to 5.5 times in standard length (Ref. 42907). Upper jaw slightly prominent or of equal length with lower jaw (Ref. 1878, Ref. 42907). Number of dorsal finlets: 9-11 (Ref. 42908, Ref. 51884). Number of branched dorsal and caudal rays: 15 (Ref. 49956). Pectoral fin not reaching dorsal fin origin (Ref. 42873, Ref. 45628). Ganoid scales (Ref. 42904): 57-65 lateral line scales, 44-48 scales around body, 20-26 predorsal scales (Ref. 42908, Ref. 44840, Ref. 44985). Dorsal side olive-green to gray colored, ventral side yellowish; 7 or 8 blackish bars bifurcating on the lower parts of the flanks (Ref. 1878, Ref. 4904, Ref. 44985). Fins are spotted, marbled, or irregularly barred with black (Ref. 4904).
Africa: middle Congo River basin (Ref. 3188) in Republic of Congo (Ref. 44840) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ref. 42907).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
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. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5002 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00479 (0.00206 - 0.01113), b=3.05 (2.84 - 3.26), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.5 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100) .