schoutedeni (David, L. 1936)
mainstay of the Synodontis side of
the hobby, this is a gregarious fish which is well suited to a community
tank of mid sized individuals and does well on a varied diet, so
well in fact that it starts to resemble an implement that you hit
with a No.1 wood, namely a golf ball!. I don't know why they enjoy
their food so much but if there is a snack about, they won't be
too far away.
There seems to be quite a few variations
on the body pattern and colour of this species and one fish that
it seems to get confused with, in colour pattern anyway, is S.aterrima
which is roughly half the size of schoutedeni.
The two pictures above show the different
colour patterns in S.schoutedeni. There is also Synodontis
greshoffi which is also very much
alike but the marbled pattern is not so well defined in this species
and has a duller pattern
Below is a comparison between Synodontis
schoutedeni and S.aterrima.
The line drawing (fig1) on the left depicts S.aterrima
The line drawing (fig2) on the right depicts S.schoutedeni
Note the difference in the maxillary (largest) barbels, the shape
of the dorsal and also the shape of the humeral process (the long
bony plate just behind the gill plates).
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,
This is one of the few Synodontis to be able to swim upside-down
and its body colouration continues around the body. It is particularly
fond of flake food which can be fed first thing in the morning before
lights on and it will feed, as mentioned, upside-down from the surface.
If kept with a number of the same individuals they can become very
territorial so you should present them with plenty of caves such
as large pipes or rockwork. All in all, a pretty patterned Synodontis
which comes in periodically to the aquatic establishments and if
you are keen on this family of catfish, snap them up.
Body; slightly compressed.
Barbels; three pairs. Maxillary reach to origin
of ventral fins. Mandibulars with simple ramifications.
Dorsal fin; spine smooth anteriorly occasionally
with 1-4 serrations at the tip. Posteriorly with very little serrations
ending in a small filament.
Pectoral fin; spine finely serrated on the outer
edge, heavily serrated on the middle of the inner edge decreasing
in size towards each end with a smaller filament at the end.
Caudal fin; forked.
Ground colour cream with brown mauve marbled
pattern on head, body and adipose fin. All other fins spotted. Maxillary
barbels dark. Mandibular barbels white.
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. Tankmates
should be large enough not to become harassed by this species, such
as small tetras.
Not reported but is probably being bred in
Eastern Europe using hormone injections.
Will take most prepared aquarium foods such
as frozen bloodworm, whiteworm, shrimp, prawns, tablet food, a good
quality flake food and pellets. A wide varied diet will provide
a healthy (and fat !) specimen for many years.
Max; Revision Des Synodontis Africains
(Famille Mochokidae) 1971.
Syn = together; odontis = teeth.(fused
schoutedeni : In
honour of Schouteden.
Northern Area Catfish Group; Information Sheet 10.
Line Drawings from Poll, Max;
Revision Des Synodontis Africains (Famille Mochokidae) 1971.
Democratic Republic of the Congo.
| 6.5 - 7.2.
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