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  • Synodontis contractus
Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis contractus  Vinciguerra, 1928
Common Names Bug Eyed Squeaker
Big-nosed Upside Down Catfish, Bugeye Squeaker, Davids Rückenschwimmender Congowels (Germany), Lille Rygsvømmermalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Rubi River at Buta, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Synonym(s) Synodontis contracta
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - kon TRACK tah
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. 
Article - CotM 2005 February
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 60mm or 2.4" 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.

It is very similar in colour pattern to the more commonly encountered Synodontis nigriventris. The main differences being that S. contracta has a bigger head, broader mouth and far larger eye.
Sexing Unknown, hard to tell differences in genital papillae in such a small species.
General Remarks Males reach no larger than 70mm SL.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: Congo region (Stanley Pool) at Kinshasa.
African Waters, Congo (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 2009.
pH 6.2 - 7.6
Temperature 22.0-26.0°C or 71.6-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Live foods, frozen foods, tablet, granulated and flake foods. The species is fond of snails and some vegetable matter should be included in the diet.
Furniture Well planted tank would best suit this fish as it lives in this type of habitat in the wild over muddy substrate.
Compatibility A peaceful species even with its own kind.
Suggested Tankmates Most small to medium sized community fishes. African tetras would be the most appropriate. This species is found in large shoals in the wild and should be kept in a group of at least 3 or 4 individuals preferably more.
Breeding Although not hatched, at least one aquarium spawning has been encountered. A small group produced one batch of thirty, large (3.0 mm diameter) bright orange eggs, these were hidden away at the back of the tank.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
Reference Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale `Giacomo Doria' v. 53, pp 24 [20], Pl. 1.
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There are 17 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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There are 6 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2019 Sep 18 14:10 (species record created: 2003 Aug 23 00:00)