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  • Synodontis ilebrevis
Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis ilebrevis  Wright & Page, 2006
Common Name
Type Locality Chaitika, Tanzania, Lake Tanganyika.
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss
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. The specific name is a combination of the latin ile, meaning intestine, and the Latin brevis, meaning short, a reference to the relatively short gut of this species
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 136mm or 5.4" 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.

Dorsum olive brown, covered with small, regularly shaped, widely spaced, black spots. Belly lighter with smaller, regularly shaped, black spots. Maxillary and mandibular barbels white. Iris copper colored. dorsal and pectoral-fin spines dark, terminating in short dusky filaments. Pectoral spine with thin, light stripe along anterior margin. all rayed fins with black triangle at their base, posterior margins dusky. Triangles may be completely solid or composed of closely spaced spots. Both lobes of caudal fin with black bars from base to tip of fin, posterior margins dusky.

Could be confused with Synodontis polli which has moderate to large, irregular, more closely spaced spots as opposed to small, round widely spaced spots on the skin in Synodontis ilebrevis.
Sexing First 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.
General Remarks
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Lake Tanganyika, known only from Cape Chaitika.
African Waters, Western Rift Valley Lakes, Tanganyika (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Their short gut and lack of a hindgut chamber suggest that this species is suited to a more carnivorous diet.
Breeding Unreported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Wright, JJ and LM Page (2006) Taxonomic revision of Lake Taganyikan Synodontis (Siluriformes: Mochokidae). Florida Mus. Nat. Hist. Bull. 46(4):99-154.
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Last Update 2011 Jan 19 14:27 (species record created: 2011 Jan 13 18:28)