Phractolaemus ansorgii

10. April 2017

Finally we were able to import again Phractolaemus ansorgii. The last importation was years ago. Sadly the fish are sold out already, but we nevertheless want to show you the interesting animals.

Formerly we obtained these fish from Nigeria, this time they originate from the Congo. In our current import obviously two colour morphs appear, a more reddish one and a more blackish one. We didn´t observe such differences in our former importations, the Nigerian ones were uniformly brownish. Sexually active males develop breeding tubercles along the flanks and around the eyes. 

These unique fishes are said to be close relatives of the Kneriidae on the one side, but they show also many relations to the bony tongues, and here especially to the butterfly fish, Pantodon buchholzi. Phractolaemus are air breathers. It s said that these fish can attain a maximum length of about 20 cm. The photographed male that clearly shows breeding tubercles – is about 8 cm long. There is almost nothing known on the natural history of these unusual fishes.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer