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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameSynodontis angelicus  Schilthuis, 1891
Common NamesPolka Dot Syno
Angel Squeaker, Englemalle (Denmark), Perlhuhnwels (Germany), Polkadot Squeaker
Type LocalityKinshasa, Stanley Pool, upper Congo R. near Brazzaville, Zaire.
Synonym(s)Synodontis angelica, Synodontis angelicus zonatus, Synodontis tholloni, Synodontis werneri
Pronunciationsin oh don tiss
EtymologySynodontis: From the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth. This specific epithet literally means from the angels or messengers.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 240mm or 9.4" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationAll 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.

Some specimens possess more yellow than white spots and the dark colour can range from dark grey through an inky purple to midnight black depending on mood, health, age and sex of the individual. The images shown here demonstrate how the colour pattern can vary between individuals, all are adults showing a greatly differing number of spots yet maintaining the solid black basic colour.
SexingFirst 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 stuck (Which by the way, hurts like crazy!). 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 (And 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.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionCongo River System, Africa
African Waters, Congo (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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IUCN Red List StatusLeast Concern
pH6.0 - 8.0
Temperature23.0-27.0°C or 73.4-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersA hardy fish that can adapt to most conditions.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingOmnivorous. This fish is not a fussy eater and even foods like cucumber and spirulina discs are nibbled at. Frozen foods will be greedily accepted and bring on good growth.
FurnitureNeeds a cave to call home. Like most riverine Synos favours arching overhanging structures and large broad leaf plants. Prefers rocks to bogwood.
CompatibilityPeaceful, but not delicate. Able to defend itself.
Suggested TankmatesMost larger community fish that are not timid or likely to compete for refuge.
BreedingUnknown, but thought to be an egg scatterer.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesTijdschr. Ned. Dierk. Ver. Ser. 2v. 3 - pp87
Registered Keepers(1) Birger (k: 5), (2) synoguy, (3) funkyj1313, (4) Lornek8, (5) Tulio, (6) CatBrat, (7) GreenSynoMan, (8) synodont_fan (k: 3), who also notes: "I have an 8 inch specimen, which is very mild mannered. And a 6 inch specimen which is a little more aggressive. And a 4 inch specimen.", (9) Ben-cgn, (10) einstein-a-go-go, (11) V, (12) kvnbyl (k: 3), (13) unblinded, who also notes: "Truly one of the most beautiful of the synodontis. A little too secretive for my tastes except at feeding time.", (14) Junttis, (15) Gump, (16) jippo, (17) derrickrscott (p: 2), (18) Plunt, (19) Julie (k: 4), who also notes: "the yellow/gold variety", (20) LowCat, (21) Kampfer, (22) fleahound (p: 3, k: 2), (23) Cornuta, (24) Moomoo, (25) Reginator, (26) shadowcat, (27) ariefputranto (k: 11), (28) crazylegs, (29) judeblackburn, (30) oliv67 (k: 5), (31) Caracal, (32) amt4470, (33) jprp, (34) danny.450, (35) weeb, who also notes: "Bought misidentified and severely beat up from LFS, currently living with small, peaceful community fish while it begins its recovery.", (36) fuzzytigerbird (p: 2), (37) diane (p: 2), (38) WoonyFishMan, (39) Tony, (40) Bijn, (41) cichlidman16yearsold (k: 43), (42) Miss Dib Dabs, (43) andywoolloo, (44) aquaoahu, (45) FunkyFredFrog, (46) arapaimag (k: 4), (47) rommer (k: 2), (48) TheCichlidKid15, (49) 2poc, (50) anthonyking, (51) Mcjlance, (52) clydeboy, who also notes: "Seems to have settled in fairly well, shows at feeding time and is at home under loads of bogwood.", (53) l114, (54) slayer5590, (55) lasteeves, (56) mikey, (57) BernieEcht (p: 2, k: 2), (58) sterna, who also notes: "This specimen was bought in 1986, I'm the second owner.", (59) Brisch, (60) naturalart, who also notes: "Purchased at 45mm, eats everything, somewhat shy", (61) m1ke715m, (62) corybreed, (63) Synofan1222, (64) jjmagnificent, (65) 660Dave, (66) CL27, (67) langley01, (68) Mathias (k: 2), (69) sleepyhead, (70) L-lover62, (71) chalamala, (72) evojoey, (73) bassgenie, (74) Long Barbels, (75) NeilB, (76) Ambull, (77) N0body Of The Goat, who also notes: "Took a while to settle in, got unusual grief from at least some of my Euchilichthys spp. quartet, now growing in length and girth", (78) syno-kev, who also notes: "Very tiny syno on his own in a community tank", (79) oldfish (k: 5), (80) DavidNMaddieHaveCats, (81) zzy, (82) iSynoCat, who also notes: "Become significantly more confident with age, now comes up to the surface for feeding and spends a lot more time out in the open. Has his own cave which is his and nobody else’s.", (83) faxling, (84) Schall, (85) protopterus, (86) caninesrock, (87) Gulper, (88) Jr.marks, (89) WadeNCreeks.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 1996 November
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 18:58 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)