Cat-eLog Right Arrow Mochokidae Right Arrow Mochokinae Right Arrow Synodontis

Down arrow Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis macrostigma  Boulenger, 1911
Common Names Largespot Squeaker
Grootvlek-skreeubaber (South Africa)
Type Locality Okovango River, Lake Ngami District, Botswana, southern Africa.
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss
Etymology According to Cuvier, Synodontis is an "ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile". It is apparently not derived, as often reported, from syn-, together and odous, tooth, presumed etymology of the lizardfish genus Synodus and in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth of both genera. This specific epithet refers to its large (macro=large) spots (stigma=spots,marks).
Down arrow Species Information
Size 171mm or 6.7" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification All species in the genus Synodontis have a hardened head cap that has attached a process (humeral process) which is situated behind the gill opening and pointed towards the posterior. The dorsal fin and pectoral fins have a hardened first ray which is serrated. Caudal fin is always forked. There is one pair of maxillary barbels, sometimes having membranes and occasionally branched. The two pairs of mandibular barbels are often branched and can have nodes attached. The cone-shaped teeth in the upper jaw are short. S-shaped and movable in the lower jaw. These fish produce audible sounds when disturbed rubbing the base of the pectoral spine against the pectoral girdle.

D I, 7; A iv-vi, 7-9. Body thickset; caudal fin with shallow fork. Maxillary barbels with dark basal membrane and a papillose leading edge, mandibular barbels with short stubby branches.The edges of the humeral process are convex. The adipose fin appears to be variable but is fairly small. Yellowish with characteristic large dark brown or black spots or bars. Underparts with smaller spots or plain. The head exhibits dots, the fins are specked or spotted.
Sexing First lay the fish in your hand with its head toward your palm and the tail toward your fingers. Hold the dorsal spine between your middle and ring finger so the fish is belly up and you won't get punctured by the sharp fin spines (which hurts - be careful). The genital pore is in a small furrow of tissue (in healthy fish) and will be obstructed by the pelvic fins. Pull down on the tail gently to arch the fishes spine and the pelvic fins will stand and the furrow open to display the genital pore and the anus of the fish. The male has a somewhat ridged genital papillae on which the spermatoduct is on the back side, facing the tail fin. A gravid female will also show an extended papillae but the oviduct is on the ventral side of the papillae. It may also show a little redness if really gravid. A thin or emaciated female will have just two pink pores, the oviduct and the anus.
Down arrow Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: Cunene, Okavango, upper Zambezi and Kafue systems.
African Waters, Zambesi, Upper Zambesi (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Okavango (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Cunene (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2007.
pH 6.6 - 7.6
Temperature 23.5-27.0°C or 74.3-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Prefers slow flowing and floodplain environments, where it is usually common.
Down arrow Husbandry Information
Breeding Unreported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Down arrow Further Information
Reference Catalogue of the fresh-water fishes of Africa v. 2, pp 432, Fig. 325.
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Last Update 2020 Sep 20 02:02 (species record created: 2006 Dec 25 01:34)