Synodontis flavitaeniatiatus Boulenger,
his months factsheet centres on one of the most beautiful members
of the Mockikidae family and perhaps maybe the nicest looking
catfish on the block!
I don't apologise for revisiting Africa
again, and to my mind, along with the Corydoras species
from South America, the Syno's are a very special and interesting
group and hopefully we will see an upsurge in interest again in
these wonderful cats. We will perhaps not return to the days of
the early eighties again when Synodontis like this months
subject would cost you an arm and a leg and quite possibly a full
weeks wages to own this beauty above.
This Synodontis is only one in three species in this
family that has filaments on their maxillary barbels as well as
the mandibular, the other two are, S.
clarias and S.
Synodontis flavitaeniatiatus is
basically an easy species to keep as it won't uproot your plants
and as such can be kept in a planted aquarium. They are not aggressive
so you can keep a few of them in a large community tank along
with larger tetras such as the Congo Tetra from the same continent.
As with all members of this family they can be territorial so
must give them places to hide during the day such as rockwork,
pipes or driftwood, then you will see them venturing out during
the day for sorties.
Body compressed, head slightly depressed.
Three pairs of barbels. Maxillary barbels with tiny ramifications,
mandibular barbels with small ramifications. Dorsal fin spine smooth
anteriorly occasionally with 2 - 4 serrations at the point, strongly
serrated posteriorly, ending in a short filament. Pectoral fin spine
with many small serrations on the outer edge; inner edge with large
serrations in the middle, decreasing in size towards each end. Caudal
fin forked with the upper lobe usually being longer.
Map above shows the area in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo in the Stanley pool now known as the Malebo
pool which is a widening of the Congo River about 570km from its
confluence to the South Atlantic Ocean.
The Pyjama cat is well named due to its rather garish outfit but
I stress that I don't own Pyjama's of this nature :-) It also
goes under another common name of the Orange Striped Squeaker
owing to the colouring and the common name of "Squeakers"
given to the Synodontis genus by the native people's,
due to the sounds made when taken out of the water.
The head and body are marked with wide dark
sinuous horizontal brownish bands, separated by light yellowish
stripes. The ventral region is lighter with small irregular blotches.
Dorsal, pectoral, ventral and anal fins are marked with a transverse
series of large black very contrasting spots. Adipose fin dark except
for the extreme top which is lighter. Caudal fin with dark bands
in both lobes where the bands in the body continue through the fin,
light on the extreme edges and light in the centre except for a
few black spots.
Good community catfish in a larger setup
but as with all Syno's will need their own
space, meaning their own bit of bogwood, PVC pipe or rockwork to
reduce the territorial behaviour of this genus.
No reports on the breeding of this species
in captivity but has been hormone bred by Slovakian aquarist Petre
Posel in 1994.
As with most members of this genus it will
eat most foods such as good quality flakefood, tablets, whiteworm,
pellets and frozen food such as bloodworm.
Catfish Association Great Britain;
Volume 1, p 111-112
Ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile (Cuvier
flavitaeniatiatus: Yellow stripes.
Julian Dignall @