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Protopterus aethiopicus  Heckel, 1851

Marbled lungfish
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Protopterus aethiopicus
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Rwanda country information

Common names: [No common name]
Occurrence: introduced
Salinity: freshwater
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: live export: yes;
Comments: Introduced in Lake Mohasi between 1988 and 1990 from Lake Edward (Ref. 46152, 94151). Since then it dispersed from Lake Mohasi to other parts of the upper Akagera system (Ref. 46152), including Lake Mugesera (Ref. 94151).
National Checklist:
Country Information: https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/rw.html
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: De Vos, L., J. Snoeks and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 2001
National Database:

Classification / Names

Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes) > Lepidosireniformes (South American and African lungfishes) > Protopteridae (African lungfishes)
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL

Common names from other countries

Main reference

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 200 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 34290); common length : 130 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 34290); max. published weight: 17.0 kg (Ref. 13302)

Length at first maturity
Lm ?, range 70 - 76 cm

Environment

Freshwater; demersal; depth range 0 - 60 m (Ref. 34291), usually 0 - 20 m (Ref. 34291)

Climate / Range

Tropical; 25°C - 30°C (Ref. 2059)

Distribution

Africa: Nile; Lakes Albert, Edward, Victoria, Nabugabo, Tanganyika, Kyoga and No. Three subspecies exist: Protopterus aethiopicus aethiopicus: Nile River, Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika; Protopterus aethiopicus congicus: middle and upper Congo River; and Protopterus aethiopicus mesmaekersi: lower Congo River.
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Short description

Smooth, slimy, cylindrical body with deeply embedded scales (Ref. 28714). Tail pointed and confluent with the long dorsal and anal fins; dorsal fin originating at an equal distance from the eye and the vent, or nearer to the latter; pectoral and pelvic fins slender and filamentous (Ref. 34290). 55-70 scales in a longitudinal series from immediately behind the head to above the vent; 40-50 scales around body (Ref. 4903, Ref. 45485). Ribs: 37-40 pairs (Ref. 4903). The dentition consisting of upper and lower tooth-plates in the form of sharp cutting ridges (Ref. 34290). Young fishes with true external gills, but usually absent in specimens greater than 15 cm TL (Ref. 34290). Dark slate-grey above, yellowish-grey or pinkish below; often with numerous dark spots or flecks on the fins and body (some specimens bright yellow ventrally); sensory canals on head and body are outlined in black (Ref. 34290).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Under laboratory conditions it is an obligatory air breather (Ref. 34291), but under certain conditions lungfish in the wild may not be obligate air breathers and the use of aerial respiration may be a function of ecological as well as physiological factors (Ref. 58531). It inhabits river and lake fringes, swamps and floodplains (Ref. 28714). In Lake Victoria it is found in open lake and marginal swamps, in Lake Tanganyika basin only near rivers and deltas (Ref. 4967). Juveniles are found in the matted roots of papyrus (Ref. 34291). Protopterus aethiopicus is able to live in streams and swamps which are completely dry for long periods of the year (Ref. 45484). Withstands desiccation on floodplains by aestivating in cocoons until the next rains, breathing air by a small passage leading to the outside (Ref. 45484). It breeds during flood season (Ref. 28714). One or several females spawn in burrows which are dug and cleaned by the male, who later guards the eggs and the young. The principal diet of adults and sub-adults consists of mollusks, but small fishes and insects are also eaten in small quantities; young individuals less than 35 cm TL feed almost wholly on insects (Ref. 34291).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

Threat to humans

  Harmless



Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial

More information

Common names
Synonyms
Metabolism
Predators
Ecotoxicology
Reproduction
Maturity
Spawning
Fecundity
Eggs
Egg development
Age/Size
Growth
Length-weight
Length-length
Length-frequencies
Morphometrics
Morphology
Larvae
Larval dynamics
Recruitment
Abundance
References
Aquaculture
Aquaculture profile
Strains
Genetics
Allele frequencies
Heritability
Diseases
Processing
Mass conversion
Collaborators
Pictures
Stamps, Coins
Sounds
Ciguatera
Speed
Swim. type
Gill area
Otoliths
Brains
Vision

Tools

Special reports

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Internet sources

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805)
PD50 = 0.6602 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)

Trophic Level (Ref. 69278)
3.4   ±0.69 se; Based on food items.

Resilience (Ref. 69278)
Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Assuming tmax > 30; Fec = 468)

Vulnerability (Ref. 59153)
High to very high vulnerability (71 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown