Polypterus mokelembembe Schliewen & Schäfer, 2006
Polypterus mokelembembe
photo by Pigar, E.

Family:  Polypteridae (Bichirs)
Max. size:  23.52 cm SL (female)
Environment:  demersal; freshwater
Distribution:  Africa: middle Congo River basin in Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ref. 56367).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 6-8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0. subcylindrical and elongate body, becoming increasingly laterally comressed over its caudal third (Ref. 563367). Head is slighlty flattened dorsoventrally; mouth terminal; lips fleshy; snout comparatively acute (Ref. 56367). Internostril distance 11.6-13.7% of head length (Ref. 56367). Number of dorsal finlets: 6-8 (Ref. 56367). Wide first dorsal-fin spine, 6.4-8.1% of head length (Ref. 56367). Pectoral fins broadly rounded, almost circular, not reaching level of first dorsal spine (Ref. 56367). Ganoid scales (Ref. 56367): 57-60 lateral-line scales, 32-38 scales around body, 32-37 predorsal scales, 42-47 prepelvic scales (Ref. 56367). Visible part of body scales approximately square on flanks and rhomboid on caudal peduncle (Ref. 56367). Slightly elongated lateral-line pores are located on atnerior portion of each scale in the first half and in the central part of the second half of lateral line (Ref. 56367). In preserved specimens, dorsal two thirds of body dark grey overall, with several broad and ill-defined dark grey to black bands and blotches; these dark blotches and bands may converge on dorsal third of body to form braod saddles on anterior half of body in front of first finlet (Ref. 56367). No abrupt transition between the dark dorso-lateral body coloration and the light beige ventral coloration (Ref. 56367). A single large black blotch on pectoral fin base (Ref. 56367).
Biology: 
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 16 February 2009 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Boden, Gert - 08.03.06
Modified by: Boden, Gert - 08.03.06

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