Polypterus senegalus Cuvier
ular naga dalam legenda Tiongkok.Ikan ini termasuk ikan primitif dan sering disebut sebagai "snake like fish" (ikan mirip ular).Palmas, merupakan salah satu jenis ikan purba/jurasic fish. Penyebaran adalah di Afrika Barat.Palmas adalah ikan pemangsa (predator), carnivora. Ikan ini mempunyai kemampuan untuk mengambil udara dengan alat yang telah termodifikasi sedemikan rupa menyerupai paru-paru, disamping itu ia mampu untuk merayap diatas tanah dengan menggunakan sirip dadanya yang kuat.Oleh itu untuk mememihara palmas dinasihatkan agar menutup bekas dengan baik untuk mencegah ikan tersebut hilang/melompat.. Palmas dapat dipelihara bersama-sama dengan ikan golongan Cichlidae yang memiliki ukuran lebih besar.sebelum ini geliga' pernah memelihara ikan palmas 2 tahun yang lepas..tapi sayangnya ikan itu hilang...."entah la mungkin di makan kucing kot". harga ikan ini juga agak mahal...tapi berbaloi..la.Panjang rata-rata ikan palmas adalah 30 cm. Hidup pada kitaran air pH 6.5 - 7, dan temperatur 16-27 ° C. Sebagai carnivora, makanan utama palmas adalah makanan hidup berupa ikan kecil, atau daging-dagingan lain seperti daging udang atau daging ikan.
Scientific name: Polypterus senegalus Cuvier; Family - Polypteridae; Order - Polypteriformes
Synonyms: Polypterus arnaudii (not valid)
Common Names: Senegal Bichir, Cuvier's Bichir, Gray Bichir, Dinosaur Eel
Region: Nile River basin and western Africa
Maximum Size: about 50cm (19.5 inches). Aquarium specimens usually somewhat smaller.
pH Range and Hardness: very tolerant of a wide range of water conditions. Typically from pH 6.0 - 8.0 and dH between 5.0 - 19.0.
Temperature Range: decidedly tropical; temperature range between 77 - 82 degrees F.
Grouped with the Sturgeons and Paddlefish in the Subclass Chondrostei, the Senegal Bichir has characteristics that lead to it being described as a 'primitive' fish. Skeletal fossils of Polypterids have been found in rocks as old as the Triassic Period (206 - 248 million years ago). The genus Polypterus was first described by Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1802 while he accompanied Napoleon's invading army into Egypt. The name Polypterus means 'many fins' which is an apt description of all of these fish which have multiple dorsal finlets instead of a single dorsal fin.
There may be as many as three subspecies of Polypterus senegalus. Polypterus senegalus senegalus and P. senegalus meridionalis are widely accepted and there is a possible third, unnamed subspecies from the Nile River.
Habitat and Niche
The Senegal Bichir is generally found in slow-moving waters, often in swampy regions or along the banks of rivers. The water is frequently turbid (with a lot of suspended fine silt). Polypterus senegalus is primarily a nocturnal predator, feeding on smaller fish, amphibians and insect larvae.
Polypterus senegalus has an elongated body and is generally olive-brown to gray dorsally and white ventrally. There is no pattern present. The dorsal fin is divided into multiple 'finlets' which are continuous with the caudal fin (tail). The upper jaw of Polypterus senegalus usually protrudes a bit beyond the lower jaw (unlike that of Polypterus endlicheri in which the lower jaw is more prominent). The pectoral fins are 'lobe-shaped' and the fish frequently rests on the bottom supported by these fins.
Scales - The scales of Polypterids are called 'ganoid' scales because they are covered with a coating of a material called ganoine. This material is very tough and helps to prevent water loss through the scales, enabling Polypterids to survive out of water for a day or two. They are generally diamond-shaped and often have fine, tooth-like projections at the rear of each scale.
Swim Bladder - The swim bladder of Polypterids is modified into a pair of functional lung-like structures which permit these fish to use atmospheric air. Also equipped with efficient gills, Polypterus species are able to use both means of respiration to survive. Polypterus will frequently come to the surface of the aquarium to gulp air.
Pectoral Fins - The pectoral fins of Polypterus are lobe-shaped, similar in appearance to those of the 'lobe-finned' fish like the Coelacanth (Latimeria). Bichirs have been known to propel themselves across land by using their pectoral fins as 'legs'.
External Gills - Very young Bichirs have prominent external gills very similar in appearance to those of some young salamanders. These feathery gills are lost as the individual matures.
Breeding Senegal Bichirs
Polypterus senegalus has been bred numerous times in captivity. Courting behavior, which can last a day or more, involves the male bumping the female with his snout and then chasing after her. If the female is receptive she will find a suitable location, generally in a clump of plants, to lay between 100 - 300 slightly adhesive eggs over a period of days. The eggs hatch in about 3 days. The parents should be removed after spawning to prevent them from eating the eggs.
Males can be distinguished from females by the appearance of their anal fin. This fin is much broader in males than in females.
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