Easy to identify with its red
tail and one of the few species in this genus to have
branched maxillary barbels. The head is also pointed
and low. Juvenile specimens are described as being
dark bottle green in colour, with many dark coloured
spots, and a blood red coloured caudal fin.
Description: Dorsal spines (total): 1; Anal
spines: 0. Diagnosis: gill slits not extending ventrally
beyond pectoral-fin insertions; snout at most 50%
of head length and at most 80% of head width; post-ocular
length at least 30% of head length; maxillary barbels
shorter than head, bearing externally rather long
and more or less tuberculate ramifications and a short,
but distinct, basal membrane; outer and inner mandibular
barbels with long, simple and finely tuberculate branches;
mandibular teeth long, numbering 6-10; pectoral-fin
spines more strongly denticulate on inner than on
outer margin; dorsal-fin spine denticulate on lower
half of anterior margin; humeral process triangular
and deep, short and granulose, but not keeled ventrally;
adipose fin very well developed and rather close (in
large individuals contiguous) to rayed dorsal fin.
Colouration: Ground colour greyish-brown,
ventral areas lighter; caudal fin red, at least in
live specimens; young individuals with fine specks
scattered over dorsal body region and fins.
Distinct pairing during breeding. Aquarium
Care: I would suggest a minimum tank size
of 60” x 18” X 18” for one or two
of these stunning catfish, with plenty of hiding places
amongst bogwood and plants. The ideal aquarium substrate
to use with these catfish is aquarium sand such as
BD Aquarium. As with all other species of fish, water
quality and general husbandry is very important, and
I would recommend that a minimum of 25% water is changed
on a weekly basis. Wherever
possible I would recommend that the aquarist keep
these catfish in a community aquarium with slightly
larger fish such as large barbs, large tetras and
cichlids, just as long as the other occupants are
not too aggressive. Diet: Omnivore,
feeds on insect larvae, mollusks and detritus.In the aquarium Synodontis clarias prefers
a mixed and varied diet which includes frozen bloodworm
in addition to sinking catfish pellets, tablet foods
and shellfish. They also except vegetable foods such
as cucumber and courgette.
Remarks: Was the first Synodontis
to be described by Linnaeus in 1758 and is the type
species for this genus.
Niger (including the Bénoué River),
Senegal, Gambia and Volta basins, also in the
Froese, R. and D. Pauly.
Editors. 2021. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic
publication. www.fishbase.org, ( 02/2021 ). Paugy, D. and T.R. Roberts, 2003.
Mochokidae. p. 195-268 In C. Lévêque,
D. Paugy and G.G. Teugels (eds.) Faune des poissons
d'eaux douce et saumâtres de l'Afrique de l'Ouest,
Tome 2. Coll. Faune et Flore tropicales 40. Musée
Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgique, Museum
National d'Histoire Naturalle, Paris, France and Institut
de Recherche pour le Développement, Paris,
France. 815 p. ScotCat
August 2009. Seegers, L. 2008 The catfishes of
Africa. A handbook for identification and maintenance.
Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH, Germany. 604 p.