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Scientific Name Synodontis flavitaeniatus  Boulenger, 1919
Common Names Pyjama Catfish
Chocolate Striped Squeaker, Orange Striped Squeaker, Orangestribet Skægmalle (Denmark), Pyjama Syno, Rotstreifen-Fiederbartwels (Germany), Yellow Striped Squeaker
Type Locality Eala, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Synonym(s) Synodontis flavitaeniata
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - flav ee tay nee at uss
Etymology According to Cuvier, Synodontis is an "ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile". It is apparently not derived, as often reported, from syn-, together and odous, tooth, presumed etymology of the lizardfish genus Synodus and in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth of both genera. flavitaeniata = yellow stripes
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 195mm or 7.7" 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.

A distinctive species that is not easily confused with the many other species of Synodontis. Lighter brown background typically with three darker brown horizontal stripes. Overall brown colour scheme can be strongly tinged with orange, pink (stress coloration) or yellow (older specimens). Some specimens may display a breaking up of the stripes into a mottled pattern. Fins are clear with dark brown mottling. Strongly forked caudal fin. Although reported to grow up to 15.5 cm in the wild, S. flavitaeniata is rarely if ever seen at more than 8 cm in the aquarium. The fish has a golden belly.
Sexing Although differences in the genital papillae can just be noted in larger Synodontis, the smaller size of this species renders this technique impracticable. Generally females are larger, plumper and, with old age, more pale.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: central Democratic Republic of the Congo.
African Waters, Congo, Lower Congo, Pool Malebo (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2009.
pH 6.5 - 8.2
Temperature 24.0-29.0°C or 75.2-84.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Has more stringent demands on water quality than most Synodontis. Although a riverine Synodontis, S. flavitaeniata seems to do equally well in slightly alkaline water. Fins and fin rays will erode quickly in water that is too acidic or of a general poor quality.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Omnivore. Will eat flakes, sinking pellets and small live food. Does not compete well for food with more aggressive species. User data.
Furniture Use pipes, rock caves or bogwood hideouts - one per Synodontis is required. Although this fish is more sociable than most members of the genus, it will feel more at ease with plenty of places to hide. Plants are unmolested by this species. The fish does not invert as readily as some Synodontis, so bear this in mind when arranging the decor.
Compatibility A peaceful fish which will not eat other fish, even small ones. Can be shy and reclusive if kept alone or with larger fish, but if kept in groups (4 or more), the troupe will reward the keeper with some comic antics during feeding time.
Suggested Tankmates Good sized African characins and cyprinids are best; possibly even Asian Rasboras such as scissortails and the like if you wish to look further afield. A group of Pyjama catfish and a large shoal of Congo Tetras would be a sight to behold. Not a Syno for rift lake tanks or for housing with larger fish.
Breeding Not reported in the aquarium.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Revue de Zoologie Africaine v. 7 (no. 2), pp 161.
Registered Keepers There is no registered keeper.
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Last Update 2023 Jan 12 05:35 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)