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Old 08-12-2004, 09:18 PM   #1
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New Polypterus....yes....ANOTHER one!

Here's a photo of my latest acquisition.....Polypterus palmas polli. I'm finally getting my 'collection' back into semi-decent shape!



Edited to reflect Toirtis' logical argument regarding taxonomy
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:37 PM   #2
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These Polypterus are pretty neat-looking! I was just at the hatchery the other day, and I saw a pretty big one. P. delhezi, I think. They also had a bunch of ropefish.
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Old 08-13-2004, 12:02 AM   #3
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seriously, where do you get these guys? I've never seen em, and hey, I've been to my fair share of fish stores....
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Old 08-13-2004, 01:46 AM   #4
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I haunt my local stores and the three that I frequent the most know what I'm looking for and they know that if they get in the right ones that I'll buy 'em!! Polypterus have been my favorite fish ever since I kept my first one back in the mid-1970s but oddly enough this is the first Polypterus polli I've ever managed to get...even though they are fairly commonly imported.
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Old 08-13-2004, 01:59 AM   #5
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Awesome fish, Fruitbat! How long do they get?
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:05 AM   #6
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Polypterus palmas polli...please!

They are quite common in the trade, and by far one of my fave bichirs....they are very diurnally active and have a ton of personality. 12"-14" is typical, with females tending to become very pudgy.

Fat female:
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:21 AM   #7
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Oh, wow. 8O
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Old 08-13-2004, 08:07 AM   #8
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Toirtis....

Depends on who you listen to. Frank Shafer in the Aqualog Polypterus book has this fish elevated to specific status as Polypterus polli and, at least for now, that's the nomenclature I've followed. In general, I tend to be a 'lumper' taxonomically but it seems that the 'splitters' are ruling the earth of late. Personally, I've always though of it as Polypterus palmas polli but I'm trying to go with the binomial that people will be most likely to see in the most current literature.
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:46 PM   #9
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Frank Schafer has no basis for that, so it is simply incorrect...the current accepted taxonomy comes from the Hanssens, M.M., G.G.Teugels and D.F.E.Thys Van den Audenaerde paper. "Subspecies in the Polypterus palmas complex (Brachiopterygii; Polypteridae) from West and Central Africa." as published in Copeia in 1995.
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Old 08-13-2004, 09:39 PM   #10
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From the Aqualog Polypterus book:

Quote:
The various species concepts current in systematic zoology have been (and still are) applied to the bichirs, and this has inevitably resulted in confusion regarding the taxonomic status of the individual forms - a problem that persists to the present day. And the individual advocates of the various species concepts are often implacably opposed. Even though the current author is not in agreement with some of the combinations of names and systematic placements at present generally accepted, these are followed here in the interest of stability. The classification used here is based on the following systematic works: POLL 1941, GOSSE 1988, and HANNSONS et al. 1995

In the course of these researches it transpired that 15 of the 18 scientifically described forms (17 Polypterus, 1 Erpetoichthys) represent valid species (14 Polypterus, 1 Erpetoichthys). Four additional forms from the genus Polypterus, distinguishable on the basis of coloration and morphology, require further study in order to establish their taxonomic status, and an additional species is currently being described by Ralf BRITZ. Subspecies, such as those that have been described for P. bichir, P. endlicheri, P. senegalus and P. palmas, are here regarded either as synonyms or as distinct species.
While I'm more inclined to see polli as a subspecies of palmas, I have to give Shafer credit for doing his research. He did manage to examine the type specimens of almost every taxonomically described species and subspecies of Polypterus, in addition to what appears to be a reasonably thorough sampling of live specimens of nearly every taxon. For the time being I'll stick with Shafer's nomenclature with the proviso that more data and more extensive analysis might cause my opinions to waver a bit. At any rate, since the Aqualog Polypterus book is the reference most likely to be available to the average bichir 'keeper', it seems only reasonable to use that nomenclature, at least for a while.
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