Morphology Data of Polypterus mokelembembe
Identification keys
Main Ref. Schliewen, U.K. and F. Schäfer, 2006
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors
Remarks Anal fin is enlarged in males and almost reaching level of end of caudal fin rays in both sexes (Ref. 56367).

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features
Body shape lateral elongated
Cross section circular
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes
Type of mouth/snout
Position of mouth
Type of scales ganoid scales

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).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Polypterus mokelembembe

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 57 - 60
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes continuous with caudal fin
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 6 - 8
Soft-rays total 0 - 0
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total
Soft-rays total

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   23 - 29
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  behind origin of D1
Spines     0
Soft-rays   7 - 10
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Boden, Gert
Modified by Bailly, Nicolas
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cfm script by eagbayani, 17.10.00, php script by rolavides, 13/03/08 ,  last modified by sortiz, 06.27.17