Skip to content
Welcome to our first website! please report any bugs for us to fix
Welcome to our first website! please report any bugs for us to fix

Polypterus Senegalus (Senegal Bichir)

Original price $400.00 - Original price $400.00
Original price
$400.00 - $400.00
Current price $400.00
Polypterus senegalus, the Senegal bichir, gray bichir or Cuvier's bichir, and sometimes called the "dinosaur eel" (a misnomer, as the creature is neither an eel nor a dinosaur) also called "dinosaur bichir" or "dragon fish" is in the pet trade due to its lungfish-like appearance which was described as more primitive and prehistoric than other modern fishes. It is a prototypical species of fish in the genus Polypterus, meaning most of its features are held across the genus. Commonly kept in captivity by hobbyists. They are native from Africa where they are the most widespread species of the genus. An incredibly hardy, nocturnal species with very poor vision, P. senegalus relies on its excellent sense of smell to locate food. This species, along with others of its genus, are some of the last surviving relatives of very ancient species. Fossils of earlier relatives have been found that date back to the Triassic Period, which occured during the early development of the dinosaurs more than 200 million years ago. They have several interesting adaptations. The swim bladder is divided into 2 parts, of which the right hand section is considerably larger. This functions as an accessory breathing organ and means the fish can survive out of water for some time, provided it is kept moist. Like Ananbantoid species, this fish may actually drown if it is denied access to atmospheric air. Young bichirs have amphibian-like external gills which are lost as the fish matures. This, coupled with their nocturnal mode of hunting, in which they emerge from their daytime refuges to hunt invertebrates and small fish in shallow water clearly exhibit the link these species form between fish and amphibians. This is one of the more peaceful and active species of Polypterus and is recommended for beginners with these fish. It is very long-lived and individuals have been known to survive for over 30 years in aquaria. There is a subspecies, P. senegalus meridionalis. Both subspecies are included in the “upper-jawed” tribe of polypterids so named on account of the upper jaw being longer than or equal in length to the lower jaw. It should be noted that most Polypterus offered for sale are wild caught and as such, may come in carrying infections or parasites. We suggest keeping a close eye on new fish for the first few weeks after purchase.

Available in store only