Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes) > Lepidosireniformes
(South American and African lungfishes) > Protopteridae
Etymology: Protopterus: Greek, pro = first, in front of + Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335); dolloi: Named after Louis Dollo, for his work on the phylogeny of the lungfishes (Ref. 41613). More on author: Boulenger.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical, preferred ?
Africa: Widely distributed in Lower and Middle Congo River basin (Ref. 3498, 40587, 81627, 104724), but also in Ogowe River, Kouilou-Niari River and Loeme River (Ref. 3498, 40587, 81627).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 130 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3498); max. published weight: 11.0 kg (Ref. 41589)
Morphology | Morphometrics
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).
Protopterus dolloi is not aestivating in cocoons during the dry-season, because the habitat in which it lives is never completely dry (Ref. 81627); although it never lost the capability to aestivate (Ref. 40587). Therefore, the tunnel which it digs is not for hibernation but functions as a protected chamber during reproduction, which takes place in the dry season (Ref. 81627). The male guards the eggs and larvae in the nest, which is built in the mud of the swamps, while the females can be found in the open water of the rivers (Ref. 41587, 81627). The food of Protopterus dolloi are fishes and insects, but during the time of reproduction his food is more vegetarian (Ref. 40587, 46852).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Nests are found from June until October; the male guards the eggs and young (Ref. 40587).
Boden, G., 2007. Protopteridae. p. 165-167. In M.L.J. Stiassny, G.G. Teugels and C.D. Hopkins (eds.) The fresh and brackish water fishes of Lower Guinea, West-Central Africa. Volume I. Collection Faune et Flore tropicales 42. Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Paris, France, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France, and Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgium. 800 pp. (Ref. 81627)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.6602 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00347 (0.00134 - 0.00899), b=3.12 (2.89 - 3.35), 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.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Assuming tmax > 30).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (58 of 100) .