you are looking for a member of the Synodontis
genera that can co-exist with the rest of your fish
in a community tank, look no further than the inoffensive
Synodontis batesii. This is one of my favourite
genera's and you do need to read up on any given species
as they are very diverse in there temperament even
at the same species level.
natural habitat of S. batesii are found in
the south of Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and
the central Congo basin where they are found in smaller
jungle streams (Seegers, L.,
2008). They look very similar to Mochokiella
in appearance and colouration
but M. paynei has very long branched barbels
(outer mandibular = 3 branches, inner mandibular =
4) and it is comparatively smaller.
triangular humeral process
The type locality
of the the Dja (Ja) river, also called Ngoko River,
in west-central Africa forms part of the border between
Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo. It rises southeast
of Abong Mbang, in southeastern Cameroon, and flows
generally southeast past Moloundou to Ouesso, Republic
of the Congo, where it empties into the Sangha River
(a tributary of the Congo River) after a course of
about 450 miles (720 km). The Dja Faunal Reserve in
Cameroon, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site
in 1987, lies along its upper course and protects
one of the largest tracts of tropical rainforest in
Africa. Below Moloundou, the river is navigable by
small boats throughout the year and supports local
middle Congo River basin in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo. Type
(Dja) River, South Cameroon.
In the IUCN Red List
of threatened species (2010) it is widespread
without major threats throughout central Africa
and is assessed as Least Concern.
Middle Congo River basin in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, rivers Dja, Nyong, upper Ivindo (Ogooué
basin) and Ntem in Cameroon, Mbini/Woleu, Ivindo,
Ogowe and Ouzibi in Gabon and Muni River in Equatorial
Guinea. Type locality: Ja River,
Dorsal spines (total): 1;
Anal spines: 0. Diagnosis: eye 18.0-21.0% HL; body
with 2 large clear transverse bands; 26-44 mandibular
teeth; dorsal spine fully serrated along entire anterior
edge. Long triangular humeral process which runs to
Marbling and spotting on
a whitish to light grey background. The spots beneath
the dorsal and adipose fins, as well as on the caudal
peduncle, merge to form large dark patches. The
fins are more speckled, the spots may form transverse
Care & Compatibility
Will do well in a moderate
sized aquarium 3' 0" or over with hiding places
such as pipework to form caves as this species is
distinct pairing during breeding.
Will eat most aquarium fare
but like most of this genera will relish mosquito
fin:Fleshy finlike projection
without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Anal fin:The median, unpaired,
ventrally located fin that lies behind the anus, usually
on the posterior half of the fish.
Caudal peduncle: The narrow part of a fish's
body to which the caudal or tail fin is attached. Dorsal fin:The
primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body. Humeral
Bony extension of the pectoral
girdle. Mandibular teeth:
Pertaining to the lower jaw.
to the lower jaw. (mandibular barbels).
the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning
tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw
teeth. batesii: In honour of Bates,
the English explorer and collector.
Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen, 1966. Modes
of reproduction in fishes. T.F.H. Publications,
Neptune City, New Jersey. 941 p.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2019.
FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, ( 12/2019 ). Gosse, J.-P., 1986. Mochokidae.
p. 105-152. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E.
Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the
freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels,
MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 2. Moelants, T. 2010. Synodontis batesii.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010 Seegers, L.,
2008. The catfishes of Africa: A handbook for identification
and maintenance. Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH, Germany.