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Synodontis zambezensis Peters, 1852

Image contributors to this species:

Frants Lehmann (2 Stamps) Julian Dignall (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

The spines are said to be poisonous on this species. Occurs in pools and slow flowing reaches of perennial and seasonal rivers. Favours riverine habitats to floodplains. Shelters in holes or crevices or on the underside of logs, frequently in an upside-down position. Active at night, feeds on detritus and plant matter such as seeds as well as small invertebrates like insects and snails. Will scavenge readily. Oviparous, breeds in summer in the rainy periods. Description: This species has a deep body, a large adipose fin and a forked caudal. The barbels are long and slender and the mandibulars have branches. The humeral process is triangular and pointed. Colour: Plain olive brown or grey with small spots either present or absent. The spotted specimens are more common in populations from the Limpopo, Incomati and Phongolo rivers. Juveniles with albino patches on the body are often found. Aquarium Care: Reported to be aggressive towards conspecifics so would need hiding places to dilute this trait if kept with other Synodontis species in a large tank. Diet: The usual aquarium foods for this genus.

Common Name:

Plain squeaker


Hemisynodontis zambezensis, Synodontis zambesiensis, Synodontis gambiensis (non Günther,  1864)




Africa: Pongolo, Limpopo, Pungwe and Zambezi basins; Rukwa Lake; Luangwe River. Absent from upper Save-Runde system. Type locality: riv. Zambèze, Mozambique.


43cm. (18ins)


23-25°C (73-79°F)




Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (10/2010).
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Skelton, P.H. 1993 A complete guide to the freshwater fishes of southern Africa. Southern Book Publishers. 388 p.



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