Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Polypteriformes
(Bichirs) > Polypteridae
Etymology: Polypterus: Greek, poly = a lot of + Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335); palmas: Named after M. Büttikofer, collector of the type-specimens (Ref. 46277). More on author: Ayres.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: ? - 7.0; dH range: ? - 10. Tropical; 26°C - 28°C (Ref. 2060); 7°N - 10°S
Africa: coastal rivers of the Gulf of Guinea, from Guinea Bissau to Liberia and upper Cavally River in Côte d'Ivoire; also in upper Casamance River in Senegal (Ref. 28149, 81263). Reports from the Congo River basin (Ref. 44840, 51193) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ref. 4537) probably refer to Polypterus polli, previously a subspecies of Polypterus palmas, and only known from the Congo River basin (Ref. 28149).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 35.3 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 28149)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 7 - 10;
Vertebrae: 56 - 59. Diagnosis: Polypterus palmas is distinguished from other species of the genus by the upper jaw longer than lower jaw, pectoral fin not reaching the level of the first dorsal fin ray and 27-32 scales between occiput and first dorsal fin ray (Ref. 2835, 28149, 42908, 81263).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Hanssens, M.M., G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys Van Den Audenaerde, 1995. Subspecies in the Polypterus palmas complex (Brachiopterygii; Polypteridae) from West and Central Africa. Copeia 1995(3):694-705. (Ref. 28149)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5002 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00490 (0.00210 - 0.01144), b=3.05 (2.85 - 3.25), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.9 ±0.43 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec=5).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .