Cat-eLog Right Mochokidae Right Mochokinae Right Synodontis

Down Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis polli  Gosse, 1982
Common Names Poll's Syno
Polls Skægmalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Lake Tanganyika.
Synonym(s) Synodontis eurystomus
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - poll eye
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. Specifically named after Max Poll, a Belgian ichthyologist who worked extensively from fish from Lake Tanganyika and the Congo drainage.
Down Species Information
Size 148mm or 5.8" 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.

Mouth wide, hence the original name of Synodontis eurystomus, which means ''wide mouth''. Cusp on dorsal edge of humeral process. Adult males are a chocolate brown with numerous black spots. Dull white edging on posterior edges of fins. Barbels short. Juveniles have a lighter coloration and somewhat brighter fin edging.
Sexing Males are larger and more robust than females. Can be sexed by genital papilla, as per other Synodontis spp.
General Remarks Nomen novum for Synodontis eurystomus Matthes, 1959, preoccupied by Synodontis eurystomus Pfeffer, 1889. Although the type specimens are from Burundian waters, the species appears to be widely distributed around the lake, with some regional variation in appearance. Schraml [DATZ, 2003] reports possible S. polli variant from Lake Mweru.
Down Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: Lake Tanganyika.
African Waters, Western Rift Valley Lakes, Tanganyika (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 2006.
pH 7.8 - 9.2
Temperature 23.0-29.0°C or 73.4-84.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Clean, stable and hard water conditions, as per other Lake Tanganyika Synodontis. Strong current not necessary, but tolerated.
Down Husbandry Information
Feeding Ominivore, with a preference for meaty foods. Will readily take flake foods, but should be fed a varied diet, supplemented by frozen and live foods. While spirulina is easily accepted, unlike S. multipunctatus, S. petricola, and even S. dhonti, S. polli will not eat vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini, etc. Plants are untouched.
Furniture Best kept in larger tanks. Furnish with rocky hiding places. Plants such as Vallisneria are optional.
Compatibility Compatible with most Rift Lake catfish, cichlids and mastacembelids. All except fry and very tiny fish are likely to be safe. Adult males may fight when first introduced, but aggression ceases once dominance and territories are established.
Breeding Many reports, but none confirmed. Upon investigation, reported spawnings have been of species other than S. polli.
Breeding Reports There is but a single breeding report, read it here.
Down Further Information
Reference Cybium 3e série. Bulletin de la Société Française d'Ichtyologie v. 6 (no. 2), pp 48.
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Last Update 2023 Jan 12 05:37 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)