s I do love the Synodontis genera and
have for many years I couldn't help but compile another factsheet
on them and a real beauty to boot in the "Long-Nosed Synodontis"
S. longirostris. Not a colourful species but none the
less an impressive looking Synodontis when in good condition.
I spied a group of them in a large tank in Pier Aquatics, the
premier aquatic outlet in Wigan northern England, and a haven
for us catfish aficionados. I couldn't take any of them home as
tank space was at a premium and with a stated SL of 50cm (20ins)
it was definitely a no no.
This is one of the easier species of Synodontis
to identify with the spotted body and the long down turned mouth.
The SL size of 50cm (20ins) may not be obtainable in the home
aquarium as it is in its natural habitat but nonetheless it is
a fairly large species and would need a sizeable tank to house
Head & mouth view showing the tooth plates.
of humeral process
of the tooth plates
The above two images show the shape of
the humeral process and the tooth plate of S. longirostris.
Small eyes. Small and low adipose fin.
A long, conical, prominent snout. Small and supero-lateral, 1.7
(1.7 to 3.6) time in interorbital space that is flat. Humeral
process is triangular or subtriangular, the tip
is generally obtuse or sometimes truncated, granular and without
Crest, 2.2 (1.8 to 2.9) times as long as high.
Light grey to brown/olive,
fully dotted with black spots. quite large and rounded, smaller
on the head. Underbelly largely clear with only a few spots scattered
here and there. All the fins dotted with black spots.
Can be a little territorial
as most Synodontis will be but no problems in a
large aquarium. Provide hiding places to decrease any territorial
Any larger Characins and peaceful Cichlids.
Not reported, but
they pair of to breed in their natural habitat.
It is likely that the
sexes can be externally differentiated by females having
a proportionately wider and deeper body than the males.
There may also be differences in the vent area.
Will take most prepared aquarium foods
such as frozen bloodworm, whiteworm, shrimp, prawns, insect larvae,
tablet food, a good quality flake food and pellets. A wide varied
diet will provide a healthy specimen for many years. They
prefer to feed from the bottom hence their downturned conical
Bony extension of the pectoral girdle.
Fleshy finlike projection without
rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Caudal fin: The tail.
Truncate: Cut off, blunt. (as in squared
off caudal fin).
Ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile (Cuvier
M., 1971. Révision
des Synodontis africains (famille Mochocidae). Ann. Mus. R. Afr.
Centr., Sci. Zool., 191:1-497.
Seegers, L. 2008 The catfishes of Africa. A handbook
for identification and maintenance. Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH,
Germany. 604 p.
Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen, 1966. Modes of reproduction
in fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 941
© Allan James @
Blundell @ The Danny Blundell Photo Gallery
Line Drawings from Poll, Max;
Revision Des Synodontis Africains (Famille Mochokidae) 1971.