All FishesMochokidaeMochokinaeSynodontis

Hop to next section All Fishes Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis notatus  Vaillant, 1893
Common Names Domino Syno
Gepunkteter Fiederbartwels (Germany), Skudhuls Skægmalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Congo.
Synonym(s) Synodontis notata, Synodontis notatus binotata, Synodontis notatus ocellatus
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - no tah tuss
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. This specific epithet literally means notable(notatus,-a=notable, remarkable).
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 265mm or 10.4" 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 larger species, usually has one large spot on either side of a dark silver body. Some specimens have no spots, more than one spot and may not have the same number of spots on either flank of the same individual fish.
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 stuck (Which by the way, hurts like crazy!). 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 (And 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: Congo Basin
African Waters, Congo (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 6.0 - 7.5
Temperature 22.0-26.0°C or 71.6-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters 4-15 °GH.
Not a delicate species, will tolerate most water conditions.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Blood worms, shrimps and chopped cockles are ideal and cause the fish to grow quickly and put on weight. A diet of a prepared sinking catfish pellet will suffice day to day.
Furniture Caves made from any combination of pipes, rocks or bogwood. An area of swimming space should also be provided.
Compatibility Although a large species, it is also peaceful. It likes plenty of caves to hide in and can be very active at times. It is tolerant of other catfish species and of its own kind.

An adult needs at least a 4ft / 120cm tank.
Suggested Tankmates Avoid small tank mates as these could easily be eaten when the catfish grows.
Breeding Unreported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Bulletin de la Société philomathique de Paris (8th Série) v. 5 (no. 1), pp 17 [5].
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Last Update 2023 Jan 12 05:39 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)