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
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 youngster.
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
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.
Victoria, Nabugabo, Kioga, Ihema; Nile, Kagera, Kingani
Malagarasi Rivers, Piti River, Lake Rukwa basin. Type
locality: Victoria-Nyanza (Ukerewe-See).
22-26c (72-80f )
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
Care & Compatibility
afrofischeri 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 many years.
Syn = together; odontis = teeth
(fused tooth plates). afrofischeri: In honour
of Dr. G. A. Fischer.
H.A. and R. Riehl. 1985 Aquarien atlas. Band
2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde
GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p. Sands,
David. A Fishkeepers Guide to African &
Asian Catfishes 1986.