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Polypterus bichir  Lacepède, 1803

Nile bichir
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Polypterus bichir
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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);  bichir: Named after the local name for the fish (Ref. 43537).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243).   Tropical

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 74.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 81263); max. published weight: 2.7 kg (Ref. 367)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 13 - 18; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 13 - 16; Vertebrae: 61 - 62. Diagnosis: Polypterus bichir is characterized by a lower jaw slightly longer than upper jaw and a pectoral fin reaching the first dorsal ray (Ref. 2835, 42908, 81263). The subspecies P. bichir bichir has 63 to 70 scales in lateral line, 14 to 18 dorsal fin rays and 11 to 13 pelvic fin rays (Ref. 367, 81263). The subspecies P. bichir lapradei has 58 to 68 scales in lateral line, 13 to 15 dorsal fin rays and 13 to 16 pelvic fin rays (Ref. 367, 81263).

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

Africa: The subspecies Polypterus bichir bichir is known from Chad basin, Nile River basin and Lake Turkana (Ref. 2835, 81263). The subspecies Polypterus bichir lapradei is known from Senegal River, Gambia River, Geba River, Volta River and Niger River (Ref. 2835, 81263).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Polypterus bichir bichir likes shallow water and will often lie basking fo hours near the surface, but when swimming the fish is very pliant, and can turn and twist like an eel (Ref. 4904). The eggs are deposited in weeds, where the adult fish guards the eggs and young (Ref. 36900). It feeds on bottom-feeding fish (Ref. 36900) and is essentially piscivorous (Ref. 367).

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

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Gosse, J.P. and J. Daget, 2003. Polypteridae. p. 101-112. In D. Paugy, C. Lévêque and G.G Teugels (eds.) The fresh and brackish water fishes of West Africa Volume 1. Coll. faune et flore tropicales 40. Institut de recherche de développement, Paris, France, Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris, France and Musée royal de l'Afrique Central, Tervuren, Belgium, 457p. (Ref. 81263)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | Public aquariums | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5002   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00479 (0.00203 - 0.01128), b=3.05 (2.84 - 3.26), based on LWR estimates for this Family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.80 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (32 of 100) .
unknown
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.