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Scientific Name Synodontis lucipinnis  Wright & Page, 2006
Common Names Dwarf Lake Syno
Dværggøgemalle (Denmark), False Cuckoo Catfish, Petricola Dwarf Syno, Pink Dwarf Lake Syno
Type Locality Musende Rocks, Zambia, Lake Tanganyika, 8°46'00''S, 31°07'00''E.
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - loo see pin niss
Etymology According to Cuvier, Synodontis is an "ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile". It is not derived, as often reported, from syn-, together and odous, tooth, presumed etymology of the lizardfish genus Synodus and refers to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth of both genera. From the Latin luci, meaning bright or clear, and pinnis, meaning fin. In reference to the light patches found at the base of the black triangles on the rayed fins.
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 79mm or 3.1" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification All species in the genus Synodontis have a hardened head cap that has attached a process (humeral process) which is situated behind the gill opening and pointed towards the posterior. The dorsal fin and pectoral fins have a hardened first ray which is serrated. Caudal fin is always forked. There is one pair of maxillary barbels, sometimes having membranes and occasionally branched. The two pairs of mandibular barbels are often branched and can have nodes attached. The cone-shaped teeth in the upper jaw are short. S-shaped and movable in the lower jaw. These fish produce audible sounds when disturbed rubbing the base of the pectoral spine against the pectoral girdle.

Similar to other described catfish from the lake. The cuckoo catfish, Synodontis multipunctatus, is the most common import and you, occasionally, may also encounter S. polli, S. dhonti and S.tanganyicae. All sport the distinctive white barbels and are spotted as juveniles to some degree or other and thus another form of quick identification prevails - S. petricola and S. lucipinnis are the only species with a solid white leading dorsal and pectoral fin ray and the spotted body pattern. This fish however appears to be growing to a smaller mature size than S. petricola and is less heavily spotted in comparison. S. petricola can be differentiated from S. lucipinnis by the former having smaller spots on the head than the body spots.
Sexing See male and female image above.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: Lake Tanganyika.
African Waters, Western Rift Valley Lakes, Tanganyika (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Not Evaluated
pH 6.5 - 8.5
Temperature 22.0-24.0°C or 71.6-75.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Surprisingly this species reproduces in less than neutral pH water condition much removed from those found in it's native habitat.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding A very easy fish to feed. All prepared foods are accepted and the fish will eat heavily thus making conditioning a relatively simple task. User data.
Furniture Bogwood is utilised although rock clusters appear more preferable. Seems to enjoy long, tall, flowing plants such as giant Vallisneria.
Compatibility A social species tolerant of their own kind and unimposing.
Suggested Tankmates Given that the fish doesn't require the water conditions normally associated with rift valley cichlids this renders virtually any aquarium fish of a suitable size and disposition a good tankmate. It's a community catfish for the masses!
Breeding Reports are mixed as to whether this species is or is not a cuckoo spawner, possibly due to incorrect determination of species that have spawned. Videoed spawnings indicate that it is not a parasitic ''cuckoo'' spawner but rather an egg scatterer. See Catfish of the month article.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History v. 46 (no. 4), pp 126, Figs. 4A, 19
Registered Keepers There is no registered keeper.
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Spotters Spotted this species somewhere? Click the binoculars!
There are 4 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2024 May 27 09:28 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)