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 authors: Bloch & Schneider.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: ? - 30; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 2060)
Africa: Nile basin, Abaia, Stephanie, Rudolf Lake, Tana?, Uebi Guiba (Uebi Shebeli)(Ref. 3202). In West Africa found practically in all basins (except for the coastal basins of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia), including the Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Volta and Chad basins (Ref. 57223). Also in the Cross basin in Nigeria (Ref. 81251).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 21.0, range 12 - 17 cm
Max length : 37.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 57223); max. published weight: 500.00 g (Ref. 3799); max. reported age: 12 years (Ref. 72479)
Morphology | Morphometrics
spines: 0. Diagnosis: gill slits not extending ventrally beyond pectoral-fin insertions (Ref. 57223). Post-orbital length at least 60% of snout length (Ref. 57223, 81251). Maxillary barbels longer than head (Ref. 57223, 81251) but not reaching to pelvic fins (Ref. 57223), unbranched and without tubercles or distinct basal membrane (Ref. 57223, 81251). Outer mandibular barbels with few, rather short and simple ramifications (Ref. 57223, 81251). Branches of inner mandibular barbels few, short, simple and tuberculate (Ref. 57223, 81251), at least the anterior ones (Ref. 57223). Mandibular teeth moderately developed (Ref. 57223), movable (Ref. 81251), numbering 24-39 (Ref. 57223, 81251). Entire margin of opercle smooth (Ref. 81251). Dorsal- and pectoral-fin spines straight (Ref. 57223). Pectoral spines strongly serrated with twice the number of serrations along anterior edge than posterior edge (Ref. 81251), denticulations weaker on outer than on inner margin (Ref. 57223). Dorsal spine prolonged by a short filament (Ref. 81251), smooth anteriorly (Ref. 57223, 81251) except for a few apical denticles (Ref. 57223), and few serrations along posterior edge (Ref. 81251). However, large individuals may also have a weak denticulation on lower half of spine (Ref. 57223). Humeral process pointed and granulose, slightly keeled ventrally (Ref. 57223, 81251). Adipose fin well developed (Ref. 57223, 81251), high, rather close to rayed dorsal fin (Ref. 57223). Body uniformly coloured or spotted body brownish dorsally, whitish ventrally (juveniles with white markings and black spots); caudal fin without single dark patch at base of each fin lobe (Ref. 81251). Maxillary barbels white or beige; outer margins of caudal-fin lobes more or less dark (Ref. 57223).
Maximum TL was recorded at 47.0 cm (Ref. 57223). Omnivore, feeds on insect nymph, larvae, eggs and detritus (Ref. 13868). Also feeds on fish, bivalves in the Sudd and snails in Gezira irrigation canals. Oviparous (Ref. 205). Breeding occurs during the flood season (Ref. 28714). Utilized for human consumption.
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. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
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=0.01514 (0.01172 - 0.01954), b=2.95 (2.89 - 3.01), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.9 ±0.37 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.10-0.54; tmax=3; Fec=64,273).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (21 of 100) .