Cladistii (bichirs) > Polypteriformes
(Bichirs) > Polypteridae
Etymology: Polypterus: Greek, poly = a lot of + Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335); polli: Named in honor of Prof. Max Poll (Ref. 46409)
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; depth range - m (Ref. ), usually - m (Ref. ). Tropical; 0°C -
Africa: lower and middle Congo River basin (Ref. 28149, 46409) in Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 32.1 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 28149)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 5 - 7;
soft rays: 14;
Vertebrae: 50 - 56. 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).
This entomophagous fish lives in swamps and zones of flood (Ref. 41580).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Suzuki, D., M.C. Brandley and M. Tokita, 2010. The mitochondrial phylogeny of an ancient lineage of ray-finned fishes (Polypteridae) with implications for the evolution of body elongation, pelvic fin loss, and craniofacial morphology in Osteichthyes. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10:1-12. (Ref. 88084)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass 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=0.00437 (0.00184 - 0.01038), b=3.07 (2.86 - 3.28), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.40 se; based on food items.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .