Polypterus endlicherii Heckel, 1847
Saddled bichir
photo by van Uitert, K.

Family:  Polypteridae (Bichirs)
Max. size:  65.5 cm SL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 3,400.0 g
Environment:  demersal; freshwater, potamodromous
Distribution:  Africa: Nile River, Chad basin, Niger River, Volta River, Bandama River, Comoé River and Ouémé River (Ref. 2835, 81263).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 11-14; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 14-18; Vertebrae: 53-57. Diagnosis: Polypterus endlicherii is characterized by a lower jaw longer than upper jaw and a pectoral fin reaching the first dorsal ray (Ref. 2835, 42908, 81263). Description: Body dorso-ventrally depressed, non subcylindrical, the height of which is comprised 7,1 to 9,1 times in body length and head length 4,1 to 5,5 times (Ref. 367, 2756, 2835, 42908, 81263). Head flattened, 1,3 to 1,7 times longer than broad; lower jaw longer than upper jaw; eye diameter from 9,4 to 13 times in head length (Ref. 367, 2756, 2835, 81263). Dorsal fin with 11-14 rays followed by 20-26 dorsal and caudal articulated rays; anal fin with 15-18 rays; pectoral fin rounded getting behind the level of the first dorsal ray (Ref. 2835, 81263). Ganoid scales (Ref. 42904): 50-59 in lateral line; 42-46 around body in front of dorsal fin; 11-15 predorsal scales; lateral line scales grooved with a posterior notched border (Ref. 367, 2835, 42908, 81263). Colouration: In alcohol, body yellowish or greenish on the upper parts, belly clearer, sides with characteristic and irregular vertical black bands; head and fins spotted with black (Ref. 2835, 3069, 81263).
Biology:  Inhabits swamps and rivers. This species is essentially a piscivorous (Ref. 9695, 28714). Diet includes snails and crustaceans (Ref. 30488).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 07 June 2019 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 04.03.91
Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 23.03.21
Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 28.01.94

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