Photographed by the image contributor
in the British Museum of Natural History in London.
This stuffed specimen was used to describe the species.
The long snout is actually artificial as the skin
on the snout was stretched over a wire casing for
exhibition purposes as can be seen in the x-ray image.
spines (total): 1; Anal spines: 0. Diagnosis: gill
slits not extending ventrally beyond pectoral-fin
insertions; post-orbital length at most 60% of snout
length; maxillary barbels unbranched, not fringed
or very slightly fringed at base, shorter than head,
without tubercles or basilar membrane; mandibular
barbels with a long simple and relatively thin ramifications;
mandibular teeth numbering 10-16; dorsal-fin spine
smooth anteriorly, pectoral-fin spines weakly denticulate;
humeral process triangular and rather pointed posteriorly,
its upper margin concave; adipose fin poorly developed,
distinctly separated from rayed dorsal fin; colour
uniform, sometimes with very fine punctuations. Colouration:
Uniformly brownish, with numerous small, rounded spots
on sides and adipose fin (this colour corresponds
to a stuffed specimen). Aquarium Care:
Not recomended for the normal home aquarium as it
grows too large. Remarks:
In the IUCN List of Endangered Species it is restricted
to one location in the Lower Niger river, Nigeria,
with an area of occupancy (AOO) of 4 km2. Very little
is known about this species besides the type collection
which has an uncertain locality, but its habitat is
very likely threatened by oil exploration and urban
and industrial development in the Niger Delta. The
species is therefore assessed as Critically Endangered
Awaïss, A., Lalèyè,
P. & Olaosebikan, B.D. 2020. Synodontis
xiphias. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors.
2021. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, ( 06/2021 ).