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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameSynodontis polli  Gosse, 1982
Common NamePoll's Syno
Type LocalityLake Tanganyika.
Synonym(s)Synodontis eurystomus
Pronunciationsin oh don tiss - poll eye
EtymologySynodontis: From the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth. Specifically named after Max Poll, a Belgian ichthyologist who worked extensively from fish from Lake Tanganyika and the Congo drainage.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 100mm or 3.9" 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.

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.
SexingMales are larger and more robust than females. Can be sexed by genital papilla, as per other Synodontis spp.
General RemarksNomen 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.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionAfrica: 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 StatusLeast Concern
pH7.8 - 9.2
Temperature23.0-29.0°C or 73.4-84.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersClean, stable and hard water conditions, as per other Lake Tanganyika Synodontis. Strong current not necessary, but tolerated.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingOminivore, 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.
FurnitureBest kept in larger tanks. Furnish with rocky hiding places. Plants such as Vallisneria are optional.
CompatibilityCompatible 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.
BreedingMany reports, but none confirmed. Upon investigation, reported spawnings have been of species other than S. polli.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesCybium (Ser. 3)v. 6 (no. 2) - pp48
Registered Keepers(1) Richard B, who also notes: "My individual has a birth defect of a missing mandibular barbel I have 2 other "variants" of polli but need to post photos for discussion on these forums", (2) Tulio, (3) Oliver D., (4) synodont_fan, who also notes: "I like this species a lot. The color pattern is similar to multipunctatus, but the head is much wider and the body color of my specimen is darker. Pretty shy.", (5) alga (k: 6), (6) caudalis, (7) Julie (k: 2), (8) Plunt, (9) cathje (k: 6), (10) worton[pl] (k: 6), (11) drgold (k: 6), (12) Birger (k: 7), (13) theonetruepath (k: 4), who also notes: "May not be polli...", (14) drpleco (k: 3), (15) judeblackburn, (16) wimmels, (17) longstocking, (18) richb, (19) shooter50014 (k: 3), (20) lasteeves, (21) Ostafrika-Barsche, (22) saltcop (k: 32), (23) Synofan1222, (24) Matturbin, (25) CichliDon (k: 6), who also notes: "Wild caught. White dorsal spines on males. all fins edged in bright white", (26) r7man (k: 11), (27) Victis (k: 2), (28) protopterus, (29) Gulper, (30) xroadiexstevex.

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Breeding Reports(1) saltcop (b: 48).
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 12:55 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)