Marbled Lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus)

Also known as the Leopard Lungfish, the marbled lungfish is a species of lobe-finned fish found throughout Northeast Africa. Like other lungfish the marbled lungfish can breath air using a special lung like appendage. Using their ‘lungs’ these fish can live in streams and swamps that are dry for long periods of time, emerging when the water returns. Marbled lungfish usually inhabit rivers, swamps and floodplains where they feed on molluscs, fish and insects. The marbled lungfish is also one of the few animals that have had their genome’s sequenced it also has one of the largest genomes of all vertebrates at an outstanding 133 billion base pairs long!



Image Source(s)


Some iPhone shots of Linnaeus my West African Lungfish(Protopterus annectens). Even though he uproots plants frequently when scooting around he really loves hanging out in them and spends more time off the bottom and climbing the plants. Because he keeps uprooting them it’s taking a long time for everything to fill in but it’s looking good! The staurogyne repens is slowly but surely covering this small garden corner and I’m going to add another Anubias (coffeefolia) to the driftwood when I return from vacation. But I seriously love this fish; he’s such a fantastic and intelligent animal. I’ve already taught him a few basic behaviors such as to surface when cued and hand feeding. I’ll have to take a video when I get the chance as these are basic behaviors nearly any fish can be taught.


This is a protopterus. It is quite adorable, actually. (Am I cheating if I start with lungfishes?). It’s a lungfish, which is supercool, and his fins are like long strings (pectoral and pelvic actually) while the caudal is all one with the dorsal/s in a lovely dificerca. The one I saw was as long as my whole arm. (and it was dead).


How can you resist that face? He is turning into such a ham and his tiny fins paddling along the sand in a walking fashion never fails to make me chuckle. Ive found it funny that he doesn’t eat the plants at all but will gladly scarf down an algae wafer (as you can see in he last picture). He’s getting those, blood worms, and new life spectrum large fish formula but I may switch him over to a repashy gel food or hikari massivore.

Today in Bio
  • Me:Any questions?
  • Person:Yeah how long can the fish stay like that?
  • Me:Looks at group members....
  • Them:....
  • Me:Uhhh I think about 3 months
  • Teacher:*Turns to student* It's actually about 4 years
  • Me and my group members:....oh shit.
Estha aveva chiuso bottega calando poco a poco la saracinesca. Un acquietarsi quasi inavvertibile. Come se avesse semplicemente esaurito gli argomenti di conversazione e non gli restasse altro da dire. Il suo silenzio non era mai scomodo. Né invadente. Né rumoroso. Non era un silenzio d’accusa o di protesta, quanto piuttosto una specie di estivazione, un letargo, l’equivalente sul piano psicologico di quello che fanno i pesci polmonati, i dipnoi, per sopravvivere alla stagione secca.
—  Il Dio delle piccole cose