his is not a very common Synodontis
in the hobby and if you find it in your local aquatic
outlets, and you are a fan of this genus, snap them
up!. Because of their relatively small size and peaceful
temperament they are a good candidate for a community
This species can
be confused with the much larger Synodontis
below but the point to look out for in robertsi
is the unusual large eyes similar to S.
bigger ornate pattern on the body and short barbels,
while S. caudalis has smaller eyes, longer
barbels, and also grows larger at 20cm SL, it can
also be territorial when larger. S. robertsi
has a deeply forked caudal fin similar to S. caudalis
with the top lobe being slightly longer than the bottom
isnamed in honour of Mr.Tyson R. Roberts of
the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard and was
described by Poll in 1974 from a single specimen which
was caught in the Lukenier River in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo.
The genus Synodontis sports three pairs of
barbels 1pair: maxillary, 1 pair: outer mandibular
and one pair of inner mandibular barbels that are
branched (filaments). There are only three species
that have filaments on their maxillary barbels as
well as the mandibular, and they are, S.
Known from the type locality,
River Lukenie, Central Democratic Republic of the
22-26c (72-80f )
Skin non villose. Eye sublateral
but not visible from below. Mouth small. Maxillary
barbels with a thin mebrane (very distinct). Mandibular
barbels with a short tubercular ramifications that
are close together. Dorsal fin spine weakly serrated
on anterior edge and strongly serrated on posterior
edge. Pectoral fin spine strongly serrated on both
edges. Adipose fin large with a long base. Caudal
fin deeply forked with pointed lobes, the top being
a bit longer.
Ground colour of head and body
dark whitish. Dorsal regions, including the adipose
fin are covered with large black irregularly shaped
blotches which are smaller on the head and snout.
The whitish area between the blotches form a reticulated
pattern. Ventral regions white. Dorsal and caudal
fin rays with small dark spots forming bars (more
pronounced in the caudal fin). Remaing fins clear.
Care & Compatibility
robertsi is a very
peaceful fish and a prime candidate for an average
sized community tank.
The usual feeding for Synodontis
species, being good quality flake food, tablet food,
frozen bloodworm, shrimp and prawns.
Syn = together; odontis = teeth
(fused tooth plates). robertsi: Named in honour
of Mr.Tyson R.Roberts of the Museum of Comparative
Area Catfish Group; Information Sheet