Description of Polypterus Senegalus
Polypterus senegalus, also known as the Senegal bichir and Cuvier’s bichir, is sometimes called the dinosaur eel at many local pet chains – a misnomer, as the creature is not an eel. If truly prepared for the responsibility of its predatory habits , the fish can be successfully introduced into communities of larger fish. A note of caution though, they can be outcompeted at feeding times by faster more visually oriented fish.
Make sure these fish get their share of the food. The head is small and lizard-like with a gaping mouth and small eyes on either side. External nostrils protrude from the nose of the fish to enable this.A modified swim bladder serves as a “lung”, allowing the fish to periodically gulp air from the surface of the water. The bichir’s skin serves as a particularly effective armor.A serrated dorsal fin runs along most of the body until it meets the caudal fin.
Male bichirs would have a broader anal fin than the females. Also, males seem to have thicker dorsal spines than the females, though normally, females tend to be larger than the males.The only thing preventing a bichir from emptying an aquarium of smaller fish is its speed; the pectoral fins only allow for slow cruising, and while it can achieve amazing bursts of speed, it can’t catch fish of average speed. It is ill advised to keep this fish with any other fish smaller than three inches. There should be a gap of air in the tank allowing the bichir to gulp air, the tank can’t be full of water. Bichirs are escape artists. Bichirs will also take dry foods such as shrimp pellets and occasionally cichlid pellets as well as flakes. They will readily accept frozen bloodworms, blackworms, and other frozen foods.
Species: P. senegalus