Gilled African lungfish facts

gilled African lungfish (Protopterus amphibius) facts

Home > Gilled African lungfish – Protopterus amphibius

Taxonomy of Gilled African lungfish

  • Species: amphibius
  • Genus: Protopterus
  • Family: Protopteridae (African lungfishes)
  • Order: Lepidosireniformes (South American and African lungfishes)
  • Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes)
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Kingdom: Animalia

Scientific name

Protopterus amphibius (Peters, 1844)

Synonyms of Protopterus amphibius

Rhinocryptis amphibia Peters, 1844
Protopterus amphibia (Peters, 1844)

Subspecies in gilled African lungfish

Protopterus amphibius is monotypic species

Common names of Protopterus amphibius

English: East African lungfish, East-Coast lungfish, Gilled lungfish, Kenyan lungfish
French: –
Chinese: 两栖非洲肺鱼, 兩棲非洲肺魚
German: –
Russian: протоптер малый
Arabic: –


Freshwater; demersal; Tropical; temperature range: 25°C – 30°C; inhabits rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, swamps, mangroves, and floodplains; distributed in East African coastal regions from Somalia and Kenya; delta of Zambezi River; Lake Rukwa basin; flood plains of Ruaha and lower Rufiji;

Native countries

Mozambique and Somalia; probably introduced into Kenya and Tanzania;

Size range

maximum recorded length 44.3 cm;

Feeding habits

lungfish essentially carnivorous; feeds on zoobenthos, fishes, worms, mollusks, shrimps, insects and insect larvae;


dioecism; external fertilization; flood season; build nest and guard the eggs; paternal parental care; male aerates the water in the nest; newly hatched young have branched external gills;



Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
CITES status: Not Evaluated
Threat to humans: harmless

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