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
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
Anguilliform body (Ref. 46852). Pectoral and pelvic fins filamentous (Ref. 40587). Cycloid scales (Ref. 46852): 85-99 scales in a longitudinal series from behind the head to above the ventral fins; 48 scales around the body (Ref. 40587). 47-55 pairs of ribs (Ref. 41465). Brown colored body, with blackish spots on the dorsal and lateral side of the body for juveniles, but disappearing in adults (Ref. 40587). Lines of sensory canals lighter than ground-color (Ref. 1878).
Africa: Ogowe and Kouilou-Niari (Ref. 3498). Widely distributed in the lower and middle Congo River basin (Ref. 40587).
Protopterus dolloi is not aestivating in cocoons during the dry-season, although it never lost the capability to aestivate (Ref. 40587). However, in the dry season, 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). 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).
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. 96402)
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=0.00339 (0.00131 - 0.00874), 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) .