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Polypterus weeksii

Scientific name: Polypterus weeksii   (Boulenger, 1898)

Synonym(s): Polypterus schoutedeni

Common name(s): Weeks' bichir, Fat-headed bichir, Mottled bichir

Picture of Polypterus weeksii, Weeks' bichir

Click image to enlarge

Origin: Central Africa: Congo river basin

Max reported size (TL): 540mm (22")

Description: This species usually has a very clear distinction between the dark greyish-green dorsal surface and the whitish ventral surface. Several dark bands are present which may fork towards the bottom. The head is relatively large, giving rise to one of the common names of 'fat-headed' bichir. This species retains external gills much longer than most other Polypterus species. There are 9-11 dorsal finlets.

Comments: The Weeks' bichir seems to have a mild temperament and mixes well with other Polypterus species. However, the large mouth is capable of swallowing surprisingly large fishes, so any tankmates must be much bigger than the fish's mouth.

Main References:

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