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Hop to next section All Fishes Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis robertsi  Poll, 1974
Common Names Roberts' Syno
Large Blotch Syno, Large Blotch Synodontis, Roberts Fiederbartwels (Germany)
Type Locality Elombe, Lukenie River, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2°49'S, 18°14'E.
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - rob ert si
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. Named after Tyson Roberts of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard.
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 100mm or 3.9" 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 small fish, as Synodontis go. Colour pattern like that of a giraffe, a brown background with white or yellow worm lines. Transparent fin membranes with brown spots. Strongly forked caudal fin. Large eyes. Similar to the much larger (20cm) S. caudalis .
Sexing First lay the fish in your hand with its head toward your palm and the tail toward your fingers. Hold the dorsal spine between your middle and ring finger so the fish is belly up and you won't get punctured by the sharp fin spines (which hurts - be careful). The genital pore is in a small furrow of tissue (in healthy fish) and will be obstructed by the pelvic fins. Pull down on the tail gently to arch the fishes spine and the pelvic fins will stand and the furrow open to display the genital pore and the anus of the fish. The male has a somewhat ridged genital papillae on which the spermatoduct is on the back side, facing the tail fin. A gravid female will also show an extended papillae but the oviduct is on the ventral side of the papillae. It may also show a little redness if really gravid. A thin or emaciated female will have just two pink pores, the oviduct and the anus.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: known from the type locality, River Lukenie, Central Democratic Republic of the Congo.
African Waters, Congo, Middle Congo (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Gabon Waters, Egombe (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Congo, Lower Congo, Kasai, Lukenia (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Data Deficient, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2009.
pH 6.4 - 7.6
Temperature 23.0-28.0°C or 73.4-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Excessively low pH (below 6.0) will result in erosion of fin rays and membranes.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Not a fussy eater. Will accept flake and tablet food. Especially enjoys live and frozen bloodworm and brine shrimp. User data.
Furniture Hiding places provided by plant cover.
Compatibility A small, peaceful fish that is a model citizen in a community tank. Not very shy, but appreciates plant cover.
Suggested Tankmates Not good with boisterours fish, ideal tankmate for African characins.
Breeding Not yet successfully bred in captivity.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Revue de Zoologie Africaine v. 88 (no. 2), pp 442, Fig. 1.
Registered Keepers There is no registered keeper.
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Last Update 2020 Sep 19 09:29 (species record created: 2001 May 04 00:00)