ne of the most recognisable and popular members of the Synodontis
genera is "Alberts
or "Bigeye Squeaker", Synodontis alberti, recognisable
of course by its huge eyes, long maxillary barbels the large adipose
fin and its almost straight dorsal.
It is listed in the IUCN Red list
of threatened species as of least concern. It is widespread
or without major threats throughout the Central Africa assessment
alberti - close
up of mouth and barbels
the large eye
Synodontis alberti tends not to swim
or feed upside down as with some other
species in this genera. Hinged teeth in the lower jaw are used as
rasps to remove algae.
Eye large, 3 to 3½ in length of head.
Maxillary barbels simple, reaching caudal peduncle or caudal fin.
Mandibular barbels with slender barbels, outer mandibular barbels
1.2/3 to 2 times length of head, inner mandibular barbels half as
long as outer. Dorsal fin spine almost straight, as long, or longer
than head, anterior edge smooth, posterior edge feebly serrated.
Pectoral fin spine as long as, or a little shorter than head, strongly
serrated on both sides. Caudal fin deeply forked, upper and lower
lobes may be produced into filaments. Ventral fin not quite reaching
to anal fin.
Body olive to brown, spotted with dark brown.
Caudal, dorsal and anal fins with numerous
small spots arranged in series. The colour pattern is variable,
in some specimens the dark spots on the body predominate, making
the olive base colour appear as reticulations.
plenty of hiding places such as caves and root work with plants
also an advantage with a sandy or fine gravel substrate.
Nice temperament and will do well in the
larger community tank alongside surface schooling fish as the
exploration around the tank feeling with its maxilaary barbels
may upset other lower tankmates. This is a somewhat timid and
nocturnal species and as such should not be housed with aggressive
fish such as large Cichlids.
It is likely that the
sexes can be externally differentiated by females having
a proportionately wider and deeper body than the males.
There may also be differences in the vent area.
Can be fed a varied diet of good quality
flake, tablet food, pellets, worm foods and frozen food such as
bloodworm. Will benefit also to a vegetable diet such as cucumber
and courgette (zucchini).
Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the rayed
Anal fin: The median, unpaired, ventrally
located fin that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior
half of the fish.
Caudal fin: The tail.
Caudal peduncle: The narrow part of a fish's
body to which the caudal or tail fin is attached.
Dorsal: The primary rayed fin(s) on top
of the body.
Maxillary barbels: Pertaining to the upper
jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Mandibular barbels: Pertaining
to the lower jaw. (mandibular barbels)
Pectoral fin: The
paired fins just behind the head.
Ventral fin: The paired fins, between the
pectorals and the anal fins.
Ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile (Cuvier
alberti: Probably named for Prince Albert,
consort of Queen Victoria.
Gosse, J.-P., 1986. Mochokidae. p. 105-152.
In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.)
Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB,
Brussels, MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 2.
Poll, M., 1971. Révision des Synodontis
africains (famille Mochocidae). Ann. Mus. R. Afr. Centr., Sci.
Riehl, R. and H.A. Baensch,
1987. Aquarien Atlas. Band. 1. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für
Natur-und Heimtierkunde, Germany. 992 p.
Moelants, T. 2010. Synodontis alberti. The IUCN
Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T183031A8035608. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-3.RLTS.T183031A8035608.en.
Blundell @ The Danny Blundell Photo Gallery