Like all members of the genus Synodontis,
S. nigromaculatus has a strong, bony head
capsule that extends back as far as the first spine
of the dorsal fin. The head contains a distinct narrow,
bony, external protrusion called a humeral process.
The shape and size of the humeral process helps to
identify the species. In S. nigromaculatus,
the humeral process is long, without a distinct keel,
and ends in a sharp point. All members of Synodontis
have a structure called a premaxillary toothpad, which
is located on the very front of the upper jaw of the
mouth. This structure contains several rows of short,
chisel-shaped teeth. In S. nigromaculatus,
the toothpad forms a short and broad band. On the
lower jaw, or mandible, the teeth of Synodontis
are attached to flexible, stalk-like structures and
described as "s-shaped" or "hooked".
The number of teeth on the mandible is used to differentiate
between species; in S. nigromaculatus, there
are about 30 teeth on the mandible. Habitat:
Prefers rocks or marginal vegetation and can be found
in the papyrus and reed fringes along river channels
and around perennial lagoons. Reproduction:
Oviparous. Breeds during the summer rainy season.
Colouration: Olive green with entire
body covered with round black spots about the size
of the eye. Aquarium Care: Does not
seem to be problomatic in its care. Diet:
Feeds on a variety of food including detritus, algae
and plant material, insects, snails and small fish,
and scavenges readily.
S. melanostictus, S. colyeri.
Luapula System, Moero, Bangwelo, Lake Tanganyika,
upper Kasai, upper Zambezi, Okovango, Cunene and Limpopo.
Also present in the Zambian Congo. Type locality:
Boulenger, George Albert
(1909). Catalogue of the fresh-water fishes of Africa
in the British museum (Natural history). London: British
Museum. pp. 416–417. Cuvier, Georges (1934). The Animal
Kingdom Arranged in Conformity with its Organization,
Volume 10. Translated by Griffith, Edward. London:
Whittaker and Co. p. 406. Skelton, P.H.
1993 A complete guide to the freshwater fishes of
southern Africa. Southern Book Publishers. 388 p.