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  • Synodontis violaceus
  • Synodontis violaceus
  • Synodontis violaceus
Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis violaceus  Pellegrin, 1919
Common Name
Type Locality Gribingui River, Congo.
Synonym(s) Synodontis violacea
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. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 300mm or 11.8" 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.
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.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: Chad, Niger and Volta basins. Reported from Senegal basin.
African Waters, Nigeria Waters, Niger (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Chad (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Volta (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France v. 44, pp212.
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Last Update 2013 Jun 23 16:40 (species record created: 2011 Mar 02 18:13)