Morphology Data of Polypterus senegalus
Identification keys
Abnormalities
Main Ref. Gosse, J.P. and J. Daget, 2003
Appearance refers to Male; Female
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs other
Different appearance different morphology during breeding season only
Different colors
Remarks Males have a larger, broader and more muscular anal fin compared to females (Ref. 35355, 43852, 48866).

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral elongated
Cross section circular
Dorsal head profile clearly convex
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout more or less normal
Position of mouth terminal
Type of scales ganoid scales
Diagnosis

Diagnosis: Polypterus senegalus is characterized by jaws of equal length or an upper jaw slightly longer than lower jaw and a pectoral fin not reaching the first dorsal ray (Ref. 2756, 2835, 42908, 43035, 81263).

Description: Polypterus senegalus senegalus has a cylindrical or faintly depressed body; its height comprised 7,1 to 10,6 times in body length and head length 5 to 7 times in body length (Ref. 2835, 42908, 81263). Head not flattened, 1,6 to 2 times longer than broad; snout acuminate and upper jaw faintly prominent or jaws of equal length; interorbital region convex; eye diameter comprised 5 to 8 times in head length (Ref. 1989, 2756, 2835, 81263). Dorsal fin with 8-11 rays, anteriorly separated from each other when folded, followed by 16-18 dorsal and caudal articulated rays; anal fin with 14-17 rays; pectoral fin rounded, not getting the level of the first dorsal ray (Ref. 2835, 42908, 81263). Ganoid scales (Ref. 42904): 53-61 in lateral line, 34-40 around body in front of dorsal fin and 14-21 predorsal scales; lateral line scales simply perforated, not grooved, without posterior notched border (Ref. 2835, 42908, 81263). Polypterus senegalus meridionalis has a cylindrical or subcylindrical body; its height comprised 7 to 9 times in body length and head length 4,5 to 6,8 times in body length (Ref. 43035). Head not flattened, 1,5 to 1,75 times longer than broad; snout acuminate and upper jaw faintly prominent or jaws of equal length; eye diameter comprised 4,25 to 8 times in head length (Ref. 43035). Dorsal fin with 9-10 rays, anteriorly separated from each other when folded; anal fin with 14-17 rays; pectoral fin not getting the level of the first dorsal ray (Ref. 42908, 43035). Ganoid scales (Ref. 42904): 55-58 in lateral line, 34-36 around body in front of dorsal fin and 15-20 predorsal scales; lateral line scales perforated, not grooved, without posterior notched border (Ref. 42908, 43035).

Colouration: In alcohol, Polypterus senegalus senegalus with upper part of body uniformly grey or olive-coloured, belly whitish; young specimens with three longitudinal dark stripes on the flanks, which disappear at an early age; fins grey-coloured (Ref. 367, 2835, 81263). Polypterus senegalus meridionalis with upper part of body uniformly olive-grey coloured; juveniles with three longitudinal black stripes on the flanks (Ref. 43035, 44841).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Polypterus senegalus

Lateral Lines 1 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 53 - 61
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Barbels 0
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb
total
Vertebrae
preanal
total 53 - 59

Fins

Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes continuous with caudal fin
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Ventral  
Spines total 8 - 11
Soft-rays total
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 14 - 17
Soft-rays total

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   32 - 40
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  behind origin of D1
Spines     0
Soft-rays   8 - 12
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Palomares, Maria Lourdes D.
Modified by Bailly, Nicolas
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