Can be confused with the smalleri
this species has larger eyes. Description:
Like all members of the genus Synodontis,
S. caudalis 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. caudalis, the humeral
process is narrow and sharply pointed. The front edges
of the dorsal fins and the pectoral fins of Synodontis
species are hardened into stiff spines. In S.
caudalis, the spine of the dorsal fin is short,
about 2/3 the length of the head, smooth in the front
and serrated on the back. The remaining portion of
the dorsal fin is made up of seven branching rays.
The spine of the pectoral fin about as long as the
dorsal fin spine, and serrated on both sides. The
adipose fin is 4 to 5 times as long as it is deep
and the anal fin contains three unbranched and eight
to nine branched rays. The tail, or caudal fin, is
forked, with both lobes ending in a long filament.
All members of the Synodontis genera 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. caudalis, the
toothpad forms a long and moderately broad band. On
the lower jaw, or mandible, the teeth of Syndontis
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. caudalis, there are
70 to 80 teeth on the mandible. Colouration:
The body colour is a uniform brownish. Aquarium
Care: Keep in the same conditions as S.
Lower Congo River, including the rapids, and the middle
Congo River basin from Pool Malebo to the lower parts
of the rivers Kasai and Lukenie. Type locality:
Boma, Matadi, Léopoldville [restricted to Matadi
by lectotype designation].
Albert (1909). Catalogue of the fresh-water
fishes of Africa in the British museum (Natural history).
London: British Museum. pp. 397–398. Poll, M., 1971. Révision des
Synodontis africains (famille Mochocidae). Ann. Mus.
R. Afr. Centr., Sci. Zool., 191:1-497.