Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Mochokidae
(Squeakers or upside-down catfishes)
Etymology: Synodontis: Greek, syn, symphysis = grown together + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335). More on author: Rüppell.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 23°C - 27°C (Ref. 12468); 35°N - 4°N
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 13 - ? cm
Max length : 20.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 57223); max. published weight: 1.5 kg (Ref. 3799)
spines: 0. Diagnosis: gill slits extending downwards beyond pectoral-fin insertions, but remaining separate by an interval greater than eye diameter; maxillary barbels not longer than head, without tubercles or ramifications, but with a broad black membrane almost extending over their entire length; mandibular barbels without membrane; ramifications of outer mandibular barbels few and simple, those of inner mandibular barbels more numerous and subdivided; mandibular teeth slender and short, numbering 30-57; pectoral-fin spines more strongly denticulate on inner than on outer margin; anterior margin of dorsal-fin spine smooth, except for some apical serrations; humeral process rather deep, granulose and weakly keeled ventrally; adipose fin high and almost contiguous to rayed dorsal fin (proportionately
less high in young individuals)(Ref. 57223).
Coloration: typically an inverted colour pattern, the back being light grey and the belly black; pelvics, anal and caudal fins always covered with transversely aligned spots; other spots also tend to form transverse series, but these are not as well-defined; maxillary barbels bordered by a broad, black membrane (Ref. 57223).
Africa: Nile (Ref. 7362), Senegal, Gambia, upper Volta (Ref. 57223), Ogun (Ref. 31256), Osse, Niger (including the Bénoué) and Chad basins (Ref. 57223).
Omnivore, feeds on plankton, algae and detritus (Ref. 13868). May also feed on surface insects, chironomid larvae, benthic crustaceans and mollusks (Ref. 28714). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Maximum size reported as 50.0cm total length in Ref. 3799, but only 26.5cm total length in Ref. 57223.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous (Ref. 205). Distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205).
Paugy, D. and T.R. Roberts, 2003. Mochokidae. p. 195-268 In C. Lévêque, D. Paugy and G.G. Teugels (eds.) Faune des poissons d'eaux douce et saumâtres de l'Afrique de l'Ouest, Tome 2. Coll. Faune et Flore tropicales 40. Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgique, Museum National d'Histoire Naturalle, Paris, France and Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Paris, France. 815 p. (Ref. 57223)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01380 (0.00618 - 0.03082), b=2.95 (2.77 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.8 ±0.33 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100) .