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; dH range: 15 - 35. Tropical; 21°C - 25°C (Ref. 2060); 3°S - 9°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 27.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3202)
soft rays: 9 - 12. Axillary pore present; mandibular teeth 13-29; body with large spots; fin spines dark; 8 pectoral-fin rays; black triangles at base of pelvic and anal fins absent or poorly developed; eye 44.9-62.0% snout length; premaxillary toothpad uninterrupted; secondary branches on medial mandibular barbel absent; occipito-nuchal shield usually covered with skin; papillae on skin of body absent; hindgut chamber absent (Ref. 59365).
Inhabits the muddy bottoms down to at least 100 m in lake (Ref. 4967). Feeds on the snail, Neothauma (Ref. 6770). Zoobenthos feeder (Ref. 52177). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Only fish known to practice brood parasitism: it manages to mix it eggs with those of mouthbrooding cichlids. Its larvae grow faster than those of the host and feed on them.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous (Ref. 205). Distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Pairs manage to mix their eggs in the spawning nest of mouthbrooding cichlids, which take the eggs in the mouth together with their own. Its larvae grow faster than those of the host and feed on them.
Gosse, J.-P., 1986. Mochokidae. p. 105-152. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels, MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 3202)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor 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 (0.00615 - 0.03096), b=2.95 (2.77 - 3.13), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.53 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 (25 of 100) .