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West African lungfish

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Kingdom  Animalia
Subphylum  Vertebrata
Order  Lepidosireniformes
Scientific name  Protopterus annectens
Rank  Species
Phylum  Chordata
Subclass  Dipnoi
Family  Protopteridae
Higher classification  Protopterus
West African lungfish West African lungfish Protopterus annectens Tropical Fish Keeping
Similar  Protopterus, Lungfish, Marbled lungfish, Queensland lungfish, South American lungfish

The West African lungfish (Protopterus annectens), also known as the Tana lungfish, is a species of African lungfish. It is found in a wide range of freshwater habitats in West and Middle Africa, as well as the northern half of Southern Africa.

Contents

West African lungfish West African lungfish Protopterus annectens Tropical Fish Keeping

Description

West African lungfish West African lungfish Wikipedia

P. annectens has a prominent snout and small eyes. Its body is long and eel-like, some 9–15 times the length of the head. It has two pairs of long, filamentous fins. The pectoral fins have a basal fringe and are about three times the head length, while its pelvic fins are about twice the head length. In general, three external gills are inserted posterior to the gill slits and above the pectoral fins.

West African lungfish The Online Zoo West African Lungfish

It has cycloid scales embedded in the skin. About 40–50 scales occur between the operculum and the anus, and 36–40 around the body before the origin of the dorsal fin. It has 34–37 pairs of ribs. The dorsal side is olive or brown in color and the ventral side is lighter, with great blackish or brownish spots on the body and fins except on its belly. They reach a length of about 1 m (3.3 ft) in the wild .

Distribution

West African lungfish httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

The West African lungfish is distributed throughout Africa. It has two subspecies; P. a. annectens is found primarily in the basins of Sahel as well as Guinea and Sierra Leone whilst the other subspecies, P. a. brieni is known largely from the upper Congo River area and from the Zambezi of Mozambique.

Habitat

Like other African lungfish, the West African lungfish is an obligate air breather and a freshwater-dwelling fish. It is demersal, meaning that it lives primarily buried within riverbeds. Due to the dry season frequently drying the rivers and floodplains in which it lives, the West African lungfish can aestivate for up to a year; however the West African lungfish generally only estivates between wet seasons.

Diet

The Tana lungfish has a diet not unlike other lungfish, consisting of various mollusks, crabs, prawn, and small fish within its distribution. It can also go for up to 3 1/2 years without any food intake whatsoever. During this time period it behaves much like an estivating fish in that it buries itself in the mud and does not move until more favorable conditions occur.

References

West African lungfish Wikipedia


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Protopterus
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