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: Valenciennes.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 7.5; dH range: 4 - 15; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 21°C - 26°C (Ref. 2060)
Africa: Senegal, Gambia, Casamance, Géba, Volta, Niger (including the Benue) and Chad basins (Ref. 57223). Also in the Sio and Mono in Togo, Lake Nokoué (Ouémé basin) in Benin, Kwa Ibo (Ref. 57223) and Cross in Nigeria (Ref. 57223, 81251) and the Ntem in Cameroon (Ref. 81251). Present in the Nile basin (Ref. 7362, 81251). Reported from the Bohou River (AMNH 228566)(Ubangi River system, middle Congo River basin)(Ref. 41414). Report from the Kolenté (=Great Scarcies)(Ref. 3202, 81251) unconfirmed in Ref. 57223.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 33.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 57961)
Morphology | Morphometrics
spines: 0. Diagnosis: gill slits not extending ventrally beyond pectoral-fin insertions; interorbital space less than 50% of head width (Ref. 57223), 89.3-102.3% snout length (Ref. 81251). Snout large and subrounded; lips moderately developed (Ref. 81251). Post-orbital length at least 60% of snout length; maxillary barbels longer than head, unbranched, without tubercles and bordered by a distinct, black basal membrane (Ref. 57223, 81251) at least as broad as barbel (Ref. 81251). Outer mandibular barbels with few short, spike-like ramifications, branches of inner mandibular barbels globose and bearing 2-3 tubercles; mandibular teeth thin and small, numbering 25-38 (Ref. 57223, 81251), movable, forming a transverse band (Ref. 81251). Entire margin of opercle smooth (Ref. 81251). Denticulations on outer margins of pectoral-fin spines relatively well developed on outer margin, but weaker than those on inner margin (Ref. 57223). Pelvic fin not reaching anal fin (Ref. 81251). Dorsal-fin spine smooth anteriorly, except for a few (4-5) apical denticles (Ref. 57223, 81251), none on posterior edge (Ref. 81251); humeral process triangular, rather deep (Ref. 57223), keeled ventrally (Ref. 57223, 81251) and sharply pointed (Ref. 81251). Adipose fin short (Ref. 57223, 81251), 1.1 to 3.4 times as long as its distance from first dorsal, and deep (base 2.1 to 4.7 times depth) (Ref. 81251), and distinctly separated from rayed dorsal fin (Ref. 57223). Anal fin with elongate anterior rays (Ref. 81251). Body covered with spots of about 1 mm in diameter; caudal fin spotted (Ref. 57223), without a single dark patch at base of each fin lobe (Ref. 81251). Caudal fin deeply forked, with upper lobes slightly longer; caudal peduncle as long as deep (Ref. 81251).
Coloration: brownish, somewhat paler on belly; type not well preserved, but still has some black spots on adipose fin, possibly suggesting an also spotted body; other specimens have in fact body and head covered with spots; fins also spotted, the spots on caudal fin aligned as a band; maxillary barbels and their basal membranes black (Ref. 57223, 81251).
Maximum TL was recorded at 22.0 cm (Ref. 57223), maximum SL 16.8 (Ref. 81251). Oviparous (Ref. 205).
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. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01047 (0.00559 - 0.01961), b=2.89 (2.73 - 3.05), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.9 ±0.3 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 to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .