Morphology Data of Phractolaemus ansorgii
Identification keys
Main Ref. Lévêque, C. and D. Paugy, 2003
Appearance refers to Male; Female
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs other
Different appearance always different morphology between mature adults
Different colors males alike females
Remarks Males of 100 mm TL and larger develop 4 large tubercles around eye and spinules on caudal peduncle (Ref. 2913, 38266, 81277). Males also with prominent spinelike tubercles on 3 rows of 9 scales each above lateral line, and smaller less conspicuous tubercles on anal and caudal fin rays; females also have small tubercles on many lateral body scales caudal fin rays and head, but none as well developed as on males (Ref. 38266). See Ref. 38266 and Ref. 93183 for more details. Females possibly attain a larger size (Ref. 41580).

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral elongated
Cross section circular
Dorsal head profile more or less straight
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout more or less normal
Position of mouth superior
Type of scales bony plates or armour

Diagnosis: head depressed and strongly ossified; anterior nostril elongate, forming an oblique, forward-pointing tube; posterior nostril crescent-shaped, located just behind the narial tube (Ref. 2913, 81277). Mouth small, protrusible (Ref. 245, 31256, 81277), placed at tip of a proboscis and opening upwards between the narial tubes (Ref. 2913, 81277), on upper surface of snout (Ref. 245, 31256). Narrow gill opening, but opercles very well developed, covering also the underside of the head where they overlap (Ref. 2913, 81277, 93183).

Description: head bony (Ref. 2913), depressed, with very broad, slightly convex interorbital region (Ref. 2984). Pair of small nasal barbels (Ref. 31256). Jaws with only two teeth, at symphysis of lower jaw (Ref. 245). No pharyngeal teeth (Ref. 3062). Swim bladder divided into numerous small alveoli and adapted to airbreathing (Ref. 245). All fins spineless; dorsal and anal fins each supported by 2 simple and 4 branched rays; scale formula: 3.5/35-38/4.5; 3.5; 16; lateral line complete (Ref. 2913, 81277). Scales longitudinal striated (Ref. 2984, 31256), large (Ref. 2984), cycloid (Ref. 245, 3062). 16-20 medio-dorsal scales, 12-16 scales in front of pelvic fins, 11-12 between pelvic fins and vent; 27-30 precaudal vertebrae, 8 caudal vertebrae (Ref. 93183). Accessory epibranchial respiratory organ on 4th branchial bone (Ref. 3062). Pectoral fins rounded, pelvics pointed, caudal fin rounded (Ref. 2984). Details on internal anatomie (including skeleton) can be found in Ref. 93182, tubercle morpholgy in Ref. 38266, details on swim bladder anatomy in relation to air breathing in Thys van den Audenaerde 1959, some details on osteology in Gosline 1960 and details on cranial osteology in Ridewood 1905.

Coloration: uniformly brown; fins generally colourless and transparent, but the unpaired fins may be tinged with red (Ref. 2913, 81277). Some scales silvery with golden reflection, especially on posterior part of body where they may form longitudinal lines (Ref. 41580).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Phractolaemus ansorgii

Lateral Lines 1 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 34 - 40
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line 3.5 - 4.5
Scale rows below lateral line 3.5 - 4.5
Scales around caudal peduncle 7 - 7
Barbels 0
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb
total 34 - 38


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes other
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 6 - 6
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 6 - 6

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     0
Soft-rays   18 - 20
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  before origin of D1
Spines     0
Soft-rays   6 - 6
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Palomares, Maria Lourdes D.
Modified by Musschoot, Tobias
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