South American lungfish facts

South American lungfish - Lepidosiren paradoxa - facts

HomeSouth American lungfish – Lepidosiren paradoxa

Taxonomy of South American lungfish

  • Species: paradoxa
  • Genus: Lepidosiren
  • Family: Lepidosirenidae (Aestivating lungfishes)
  • Order: Lepidosireniformes (South American and African lungfishes)
  • Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes)
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Kingdom: Animalia

Scientific name

Lepidosiren paradoxa Fitzinger, 1837

Synonyms of Lepidosiren paradoxa

Lepidosiren articulata Ehlers, 1894

Common names of Lepidosiren paradoxa

English: South American lungfish, Amazonian lungfish, Scaly salamander-fish, American mud-fish
French Creole: Anguille tété
Chinese: 南美肺魚, 南美肺鱼
German: Lurchfisch, Südamerikanischer Lungenfisch
Russian: Amerikanskiy cheshuichatnik, чешуйчатик американский


Freshwater; stagnant waters and deep pools with aquatic vegetation; demersal; Sub-tropical; temperature range: 24°C – 28°C; endemic to South America, occurring in Amazon, Paraguay and lower Paraná River basins. Native of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela.

Size range

maximum 1.25 m in length; recorded age 8 years;

Feeding habits

lungfish essentially omnivorous; fishes, worms, mollusks, shrimps, insects and insect larvae; also plant material, benthic algae, weeds and detritus;


dioecism; external fertilization; rainy season; build nest and guard the eggs; paternal parental care; hatchlings have four external gills;

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated
Threat to humans: harmless

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Image author: OpenCage | License: CC BY-SA 2.5
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