Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Mochokidae
(Squeakers or upside-down catfishes)
Etymology: Synodontis: Greek, syn, symphysis = grown together + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.8 - 7.2; dH range: ? - 25; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 22°C - 25°C (Ref. 2060); 35°N - 4°N
Africa: Nile (Ref. 3202), Senegal, Gambia, Volta, Niger (including Benue) and Chad (Ref. 7362, 57223).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 25 - ? cm
Max length : 46.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 57223)
Morphology | Morphometrics
spines: 0. Diagnosis: gill slits extending downwards beyond pelvic-fin insertions to the midline of isthmus; maxillary barbels not longer than head, lacking tubercles and ramifications, but with a broad, black membrane extending over their entire length; mandibular barbels with a broad black membrane; outer and inner mandibular barbels with few and simple ramifications, and membranous at tips; mandibular teeth short, numbering 8-16; pectoral-fin spines more strongly denticulate on inner than on outer margin; dorsal-fin spine smooth, except for weak serrations present on posterior margin in some specimens; humeral process deep, short, granular and not keeled ventrally; adipose fin high, long and contiguous to rayed dorsal fin (Ref. 57223).
Coloration: typically inverted colour, the back being uniformly whitish-grey and the belly black; fins greyish, without spots; maxillary and mandibular barbels (particularly the outer pair) bordered by a broad, black membrane (Ref. 57223).
Occurs in deep water close to the shore. Omnivore, feeds on plankton 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 (length type not given)(Ref. 31256).
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. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
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=0.01349 (0.00810 - 0.02246), b=3.00 (2.86 - 3.14), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.1 ±0.40 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.14-0.55).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100) .