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Polypterus senegalus

Scientific name: Polypterus senegalus   (Cuvier, 1829)

Synonym(s): Polypterus senegalus senegalus, Polypterus senegalus meridionalis   (Poll, 1941)

Common name(s): Senegal bichir, Grey/Gray bichir, Dinosaur eel

Picture of Polypterus senegalus senegalus, Senegal bichir

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Origin: Africa: Nile basin and West Africa, including Gambia, Niger, Senegal, Volta and Lake Chad basins.

Max reported size (TL): 505mm (20")

Description: Uniform brownish-grey to olive colour on dorsal surface, ventral surface whitish. No banding on adults, very young juveniles show three horizontal bands. Upper jaw slightly longer than lower jaw. 8-11 dorsal finlets.

Comments: One of the more commonly available species, it is also one of the more active bichirs during daylight hours. Two subspecies, Polypterus senegalus senegalus and Polypterus senegalus meridionalis were previously designated, but are no longer considered valid.

Main References:

Schafer, F. (2004). Aqualog Polypterus. Verlag ACS GmbH (Aqualog).