Morphology Data of Polypterus polli
Identification keys
Main Ref. Hanssens, M.M., G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys Van Den Audenaerde, 1995
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors

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 terminal
Type of scales ganoid scales

Cylindrical body (Ref. 28149, Ref. 46409). Upper jaw a little longer than lower jaw (Ref. 28149). Number of dorsal finlets: 5-7 (Ref. 28149, Ref. 51884); used to distinguish Polypterus palmas polli from P. p. palmas and P. p. buettikoferi (Ref. 28149). Pectoral fin not reaching dorsal fin origin (Ref. 28149). Ganoid scales (Ref. 42904): 52-55 lateral line scales, 32-39 scales around body, 22-28 predorsal scales (Ref. 28149, Ref. 51884). Dorsal surface and flanks with large black blotches, forming a dense reticulate pattern, ventral surface uniform pale (Ref. 28149). The fleshy base of the pectoral fin with a large grey to black spot (Ref. 28149, Ref. 46409). Dorsal fin spotted, pectoral fin with a striped pattern in some specimens, pelvic fin pale and anal fin sometimes slightly colored (Ref. 28149).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Polypterus polli

Lateral Lines 1 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 52 - 55
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
total 50 - 56


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes continuous with caudal fin
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 5 - 7
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 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 14 - 14

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  behind origin of D1
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Sa-a, Pascualita
Modified by Bailly, Nicolas
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