Bichirs are so-called living fossils. 60 million years old fossilizations are known which can be assigned to recent species! There are 16 recent species known so far, all of them originating from Africa.
The latest discovered species is also the smallest one: Polypterus mokelembembe was described in 2006. Formely the species was confused with P. retropinnis. P. mokelembembe inhabits smaller blackwater creeks in the Congo region and grows up to 25 cm long. Males and females can be distinguished quite easily, as it is the case in all Polypterus. The anal fin of the males is more than double sized compared with the anal fin of the female. This fin is spread and looks like a bowl when the fish spawn. During mating the male swims closely side-by-side with the female and surrounds the female´s anal fin region with the spread anal fin. The eggs, wich are spawned free in the water, are thus collected in the males anal fin what makes sure they become fertalized. Polypterus do not take care for their brood. The juveniles have external gills and look very much alike newts.
Polypterus mokelembembe is peaceful against all possible tankmates as long as they cannot be regarded as food. The fish do not like strong light. They feed readily on all frozen and live food as long as it is of animal origin.
For our customers: the fish have code 165533 on our stocklist.Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Polypterus: ancient Greek, means “with many fins”, referring to the numerous dorsal finlets. mokelembembe: name of a legendary monster with a dinosaur-like appearance said to live in the Congo, comparable with Nessie from Loch Ness. The name was chosen as an allusion to the old age of bichirs, which were existing already at the times of dinosaurs. retropinnis: Latin, means “with fins turned backwards”.
Suggestion of a popular name: Jungle bichir
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
|Angaben zum Tier|
|Verfügbare Größe in cm||10-20|