Cat-eLog Right Arrow Mochokidae Right Arrow Mochokinae Right Arrow Hemisynodontis

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameHemisynodontis membranacea  (Geoffroy - St. Hilaire, 1809)
Common NamesMoustache Catfish
Membran-skægmalle (Denmark)
Type LocalityNile River, Egypt(?)
Synonym(s)Hemisynodontis membranaceus, Pimelodus membranaceus, Synodontis guentheri
Pronunciationmem bran ass ee uss
EtymologyHemisynodontis: From the Greek hemi, meaning half, and synodontis. membranaceus referring to the skin membranes on the maxillary and mandibular barbels.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 280mm or 11" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationAs very small fish (less than 30mm) these fish are patterned with a few large spots on their body. These fade quickly with growth. Can be confused with Brachysynodontis but a quick look at the barbels will sort them out. In Brachysynodontis only the maxillary are membranous and to a lesser degree than in Hemisynodontis.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionTropical Africa - Nile basin, Chad, Niger, Senegal, Gambia & Volta River
African Waters, Nile (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Nigeria Waters, Niger (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Chad (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Sénégal (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Gambia (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Volta (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Show it on a map (Click the map-icon to show/hide map of species distribution)
pH6.5 - 7.5
Temperature22.0-25.0°C or 71.6-77°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingIn nature this fish feeds mainly on plankton but this is well substituted in the aquarium by frozen brineshrimp and daphnia which are eaten in huge quantities.
FurnitureA solitary cave is all that is required for this fish.
CompatibilityPeaceful and not too anti-social with other catfish excepting other members of it's own family. Youngsters appear sociable to each other but become quarrelsome with age.
Suggested TankmatesAlthough able to be kept with more sedate fish, boisterous Central American cichlids are an ideal mix for this fish as their messy eating habits provide plenty of food for the catfish. A good community fish for the larger tank.
Jump to next section Further Information
Registered Keepers(1) Dave Rinaldo, (2) Silurus, (3) Chrysichthys (k: 3), (4) jippo (k: 4), (5) dayglowfroggy (p: 2), (6) oliv67, (7) Junttis (k: 3), (8) syno-kev, who also notes: "my largest syno member in y collection it is approx 1 foot long and 15 years old bought from a former owner who needed the tank space.", (9) arapaimag (k: 2), (10) tutters187, (11) zipper, (12) richb (k: 2), who also notes: "I got the fish from a local aquarium store when it closed. They are old fish and one is blind. Both are over 12" total length. For their size and mass, they eat smaller foods so it is a bit of a challenge keeping weight on them. They are currently in a 360 gallon aquarium.", (13) Jools (k: 2), (14) lasteeves, (15) Shipmonkey, (16) chalamala, (17) Long Barbels.

Click on a username above to see all that persons registered catfish species. You can also view all "my cats" data for this species.
Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 1999 November
More on Hemisynodontis membranacea
Look up AquaticRepublic.comLook up Hemisynodontis membranacea on
BBCode (use in forum posts)
(species permalink)
Get or print a QR code for this species profile, or try our BETA label creator.
Hits11509 hits.
Last Update2009 Dec 20 05:00 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)