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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameSynodontis flavitaeniatus  Boulenger, 1919
Common NamesPyjama Catfish
Chocolate Striped Squeaker, Orange Striped Squeaker, Pyjama Syno, Rotstreifen-Fiederbartwels (Germany), Yellow Striped Squeaker
Type LocalityEala, Zaire.
Synonym(s)Synodontis flavitaeniata
Pronunciationsin oh don tiss - flav ee tay nee at uss
EtymologySynodontis: From the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth. flavitaeniata = yellow stripes
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 155mm or 6.1" 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.

A distinctive species that is not easily confused with the many other species of Synodontis. Lighter brown background typically with three darker brown horizontal stripes. Overall brown colour scheme can be strongly tinged with orange, pink (stress coloration) or yellow (older specimens). Some specimens may display a breaking up of the stripes into a mottled pattern. Fins are clear with dark brown mottling. Strongly forked caudal fin. Although reported to grow up to 15.5 cm in the wild, S. flavitaeniata is rarely if ever seen at more than 8 cm in the aquarium. The fish has a golden belly.
SexingAlthough differences in the genital papillae can just be noted in larger Synodontis, the smaller size of this species renders this technique impracticable. Generally females are larger, plumper and, with old age, more pale.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionMalebo Pool in the Congo River (a lake like expansion of the Congo River with an area of about 830 sq km, located 560 km from the Congo's mouth). Possibly also the Chiloango River in the Cabinda enclave of Angola.
African Waters, Congo, Lower Congo, Pool Malebo (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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IUCN Red List StatusLeast Concern
pH6.5 - 8.2
Temperature24.0-29.0°C or 75.2-84.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersHas more stringent demands on water quality than most Synodontis. Although a riverine Synodontis, S. flavitaeniata seems to do equally well in slightly alkaline water. Fins and fin rays will erode quickly in water that is too acidic or of a general poor quality.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingOmnivore. Will eat flakes, sinking pellets and small live food. Does not compete well for food with more aggressive species.
FurnitureUse pipes, rock caves or bogwood hideouts - one per Synodontis is required. Although this fish is more sociable than most members of the genus, it will feel more at ease with plenty of places to hide. Plants are unmolested by this species. The fish does not invert as readily as some Synodontis, so bear this in mind when arranging the decor.
CompatibilityA peaceful fish which will not eat other fish, even small ones. Can be shy and reclusive if kept alone or with larger fish, but if kept in groups (4 or more), the troupe will reward the keeper with some comic antics during feeding time.
Suggested TankmatesGood sized African characins and cyprinids are best; possibly even Asian Rasboras such as scissortails and the like if you wish to look further afield. A group of Pyjama catfish and a large shoal of Congo Tetras would be a sight to behold. Not a Syno for rift lake tanks or for housing with larger fish.
BreedingNot reported in the aquarium.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesRev. Zool. Afr.v. 7 (no. 2) - pp161
Registered Keepers(1) snowball, who also notes: "Acquired as young adult approx 40mm", (2) Yann (k: 3), (3) vriesea, who also notes: "Very attractive catfish. Mine seldom comes out during the day. Will spend most of his time in a piece of driftwood.", (4) Lornek8, (5) caudalis, (6) Oliver D. (k: 6), (7) corybreed (k: 15), (8) synodont_fan (k: 3), who also notes: "Great color. I have a couple that show a fair amount of orange, and one that doesn't. One likes to hide all the time around the base of a tree root, but the other two are more active.", (9) Freakdaddy, (10) kvnbyl (k: 3), who also notes: "extremely shy, seem to be "teaming up" with 5 large clown loaches in the same tank, sometimes they are all in the same long piece of pvc, even though the synos are only about 2 inches long", (11) Birger (p: 2, k: 6), (12) unblinded, (13) joepleco, who also notes: "Surprisingly, not hardy. Mine never adjusted to my community african rift lake tank. Was shy about eating so it barely grew, it died after a few years.", (14) Junttis, (15) amazonfishman, (16) syno-kev, who also notes: "stunning fish but very slow growing ,had it over a year now and still only abpout 2.5 inches but still healthy body", (17) synosteve, (18) jippo (k: 4), (19) LowCat, (20) MatsP (p: 2, k: 4), who also notes: "Got two slightly larger specimens to go with the previous two. ", (21) Moomoo, (22) beetle, (23) Toad, (24) ariefputranto, (25) Caracal (k: 5), (26) theviper06 (k: 2), (27) N0body Of The Goat (k: 4), who also notes: "Passed over to MatsP 23/9/2012", (28) Clown Crown, (29) toby (k: 8), (30) wrasse (k: 3), (31) fleahound, (32) tomr (p: 2), (33) richb, (34) clydeboy, who also notes: "A week on and Has also settled in well,and what a lovely fish. Quite shy during the day but puts in the odd appearance. Quite happy to come out and root about when the dusk lights are on.", (35) oneoddfish, (36) lasteeves (k: 3), (37) Superfins (k: 2), (38) nötter (p: 2, k: 18), (39) Sam (k: 3), (40) Frido (k: 4), (41) chalamala, (42) Tanganyikafreak (k: 6), (43) Mol_PMB (p: 2, k: 2), (44) Long Barbels, (45) aquaoahu, (46) WadeNCreeks, (47) Fish777, who also notes: "Orange", (48) protopterus, (49) caninesrock.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 2002 January
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 13:21 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)