This species was described
by Boulenger in 1920 as S. ornatus (Pappenheim
& Boulenger, 1914) but it turned out that this
species was already described and was probably a synomyn
nigrita so Gosse
renamed this species as S. ornatissimus in
1982. Recognised by the large eye (similar to S.
short barbels. Description: Like
all members of the genus Synodontis, S.
ornatissimus 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
fish has three pairs of barbels. The maxillary barbels
are on located on the upper jaw, and two pairs of
mandibular barbels are on the lower jaw and the adipose
fin is large and the tail, or caudal fin, is forked.
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.
On the lower jaw, or mandible, the teeth are attached
to flexible, stalk-like structures and described as
"s-shaped" or "hooked". Diet:
As a whole, species of Synodontis are omnivores,
consuming insect larvae, algae, gastropods, bivalves,
sponges, crustaceans, and the eggs of other fishes.
North Congo basin (Ubangi River and affluents). Type
locality: Poko, Congo Belge.
2008 The catfishes of Africa. A handbook for identification
and maintenance. Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH, Germany.
604 p. Boulenger, George Albert (1909).
Catalogue of the fresh-water fishes of Africa in the
British museum (Natural history). London: British
Museum. p. 391. Cuvier, Georges (1934). The Animal
Kingdom Arranged in Conformity with its Organization,
Volume 10. Translated by Griffith, Edward. London:
Whittaker and Co. p. 406. Wright, J.J. & L.M. Page (2006).
"Taxonomic Revision of Lake Tanganyikan Synodontis
(Siluriformes: Mochokidae)". Florida Mus. Nat.
Hist. Bull. 46 (4): 99–154.