Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Mochokidae
(Squeakers or upside-down catfishes)
Etymology: Synodontis: Greek, syn, symphysis = grown together + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335); denticulatus: The specific epithet, denticulatus, from the Latin denticulatus, meaning denticulate or with small teeth, a reference to the well-marked and quite numerous denticles on the posterior margin of dorsal spine of this species (Ref. 122878).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.1 - 8.3. Tropical; 23°C - 30°C (Ref. 122878)
Africa: Lufira River, Congo River basin, in Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ref. 122878).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 8.9 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 122878)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 7 - 9. Diagnosis: Synodontis denticulatus differs from its upper Lualaba and Bangweulu-Mweru congeners by the following unique combination of characters: anterior margin of pectoral spine serrated, vs. not serrated in S. pleurops; humeral process triangular and clearly pointed posteriorly, vs. not triangular and instead clearly truncated or rounded posteriorly in S. congicus, S. notatus and S. smiti; high number of mandibular teeth, 30-58 vs. lower, 0-10 in S. decorus, 18-25 in S. katangae, 23-27 in S. lufirae and 13-24 in S. polystigma; short adipose-fin length, 17.8-26.2% of standard length, vs. long, 32.3-37.1% in S. acanthomias, 30.2-36.2% in S. alberti, 32.7-42.9% in S. dorsomaculatus and 27.3-32.6% in S. nigromaculatus; and a non-villous skin on flanks vs. villous skin in S. greshoffi and S. unicolor, short maxillary barbels, 77.6-123.3% of head length vs. usually longer, 108-195% in S. greshoffi and 83.6-165.3% in S. unicolor, a low number of short serrations on anterior margin of pectoral spine, 8-14, vs. high number of long serrations, 9-23 in S. greshoffi and 11-20 in S. unicolor, and a high number of serrations on posterior margin of dorsal spine, 7-15, vs. a low number of serrations on posterior margin of dorsal spine, 2-15 in S. greshoffi and 5-11 in S. unicolor (Ref. 122878). Furthermore, Synodontis denticulatus differs from the remaining of its Congo Basin congeners, including those from Lake Tanganyika basin and associated river systems, by the following unique combination of characters: dorsal spine without strong serration on its anterior margin vs. with strong serrations in S. batesii and S. longispinis; dorsal spine with strong serration on its posterior margin vs. no serrations in S. nigriventris; humeral process triangular and clearly pointed posteriorly vs. triangular but instead with a clearly blunted point posteriorly in S. dhonti, not triangular and instead clearly truncated posteriorly in S. robertsi; high number of mandibular teeth, 30-58, vs. low, 14-18 in S. brichardi, 20 in S. camelopardalis, 20-27 in S. flavitaeniatus, 15-29 in S. irsacae, 19-30 in S. longirostris, 14-24 in S. multipunctatus, 12-19 in S. nummifer, 18-23 in S. pardalis, 17-28 in S. schoutedeni, 17-26 in S. grandiops, 13-19 in S. ornatissimus and 10 in S. vaillanti; short adipose-fin length, 17.8-26.2% of standard length, vs. long, 30.7-34.8% in S. caudalis, 28.2-31.4% in S. cuangoanus, 35.4-37.1% in S. depauwi, 29.4-33.7% in S. iturii, 31.6% in S. multimaculatus, 33.2-40.0% in S. petricola, 29.2-45.6% in S. polli, 29.7-34.1% in S. soloni, 28.2-33.3% in S. victoriae, 31.2-44.8% in S. ilebrevis, 27.6-38.7% in S. lucipinnis and 28.0-33.4% in S. macropunctatus; non-villous skin on the flanks vs. villous skin in S. afrofischeri; its unique body colouration characterised by dark brown or black, dark-grey, spots and marbling on a yellowish, light brown, background vs. body with brownish to black background with small, light brown spots and sometimes with vertical sinusoid bars as well in S. angelicus, body dark brown to blackish covered with lighter vermiculations in S. aterrimus, body with distinct, large, dark brown, black spots on a lighter coloured network in S. centralis, uniformly brownish body, or with small, black spots on upper and lower part of flanks in juveniles in S. granulosus, body greyish to cuprous brown in colour with numerous small black spots, sometimes confluent in S. melanostictus, uniform brownish body colouration with or without numerous, small, black spots in S. nigrita, body with six vertical dark brown bars in juveniles modified more or less into two series of, unequally sized, dark brown spots in S. ornatipinnis, body with a few, large, rounded, back spots only in S. pulcher, yellowish or beige to whitish coloured body covered with large, dark brown spots in juveniles, becoming uniformly greyish with size in S. rukwaensis, and body with a uniform greyish background colour with or without numerous small black spots in S. tanganyicae and S. zambezensis; and long maxillary barbels, 77.6-123.3% of head length, vs. shorter, 50.5-75.8% in S. contractus (Ref. 122878). Finally, Synodontis denticulatus differs from its congeners from southern Africa by the following unique combination of characters: a high number of mandibular teeth, 30-58, vs. low, 12-22 in S. leopardinus, 18-27 in S. macrostigma, 13-21 in S. macrostoma, 12-24 in S. nebulosus, 17-28 in S. thamalakanensis, and 14-24 in S. woosnami; a short adipose-fin length, 17.8-26.2% of standard length, vs. long, 27.3-32.6% in S. nigromaculatus; and its unique body colouration characterised by dark brown spots and marbling on a yellowish, light brown, background vs. dark brown to black, eye-sized, markings, usually spot or bars merging into a maze-like network, on a light brown to olive brown background in S. vanderwaali, and a uniform greyish background colour with or without numerous small black spots in S. zambezensis (Ref. 122878).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Kasongo Ilunga, M.: Abwe, E., E. Decru, A. Chocha Manda and E. Vreven, 2020. Description of a new small-sized Synodontis species (Siluriformes: Mochokidae) that is important for local subsistence fisheries in the middle Lufira (upper Congo River, DR Congo). J. Fish Biol. 96(5):1142-1159. (Ref. 122878)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= No PD50 data [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.9 ±0.4 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .