his Synodontis seems to appear with
three different spellings, the above, afrofisheri and
afro-fischeri but the above is the correct spelling. This is
a peaceful and comparatively small species that would grace any
community tank. Named for Dr.
G. A. Fischer the collector by Hilgendorf in 1888 in his paper "Fische
aus dem Victoria-Nyanza (Ukerewe-See), gesammelt von dem verstorbenen
Dr. G. A. Fischer. Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Freunde Berlin 75-79"
A shipment of this species arrived in the
U.K. in 1992 and I managed to purchase the individual in the picture
above. Not knowing the age when bought I would guess that it would
be about 8 years old now (1999) and near fully grown. It is tolerant
of a wide spectrum of p.H. and hardness and even though this is
not an upside-down catfish it likes to stand on its head or its
tail and rest against the tank sides. You will see this Synodontis
quite a lot during the day as it gets older, but less when as a
It is not a wonderfully coloured species but the brown and light
marbled effect makes for an unusual adaptation in the Mochokidae
family, and with these markings makes it an easy species to identify.
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. clarias,
and S. flavitaeniatus.
Dorsal spines (total): 1-1; Dorsal softrays
(total): 7-7. 32-54 mandibular teeth. Maxillary barbels reaching
almost to the origin of the pelvic fin in some specimens and to
the tip of the humeral process in others. Outer mandibular barbels
with slender branches, inner pair with shorter, but slender branches.
Humeral process, sharp with straight upper edge. 40 to 66 teeth
in lower jaw. Nostrils far apart and mouth narrow.
Marbled yellowish-brown (marbling is extremely
variable, some individuals uniformly brown)
is a very peacfull fish and a prime
candidate for an average sized community tank.
Not known but is reported in the wild for
females to lay from 200 to 15,000 eggs.
Will take most prepared aquarium foods such
as frozen bloodworm, whiteworm, shrimp, prawns, tablet food and
pellets. A wide varied diet will provide a healthy specimen for
Ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile (Cuvier
afrofischeri: In honour of Dr. G. A. Fischer.
A Fishkeepers Guide to African & Asian Catfishes 1986.
Baench, Aquarium Atlas 2, 1993.
© Allan James @
Lakes Victoria, Nabugabo, Kioga, Ihema; Nile, Kagera, Kingani
Malagarasi Rivers, Piti River, Lake Rukwa basin. Type
locality: Victoria-Nyanza (Ukerewe-See).
|14cm ( 5½ins)
|22-26c ( 72-80f )
| 6.2 - 7.5
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