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  • Synodontis contractus
Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameSynodontis contractus  Vinciguerra, 1928
Common NamesBug Eyed Squeaker
Big-nosed Upside Down Catfish, Bugeye Squeaker, Davids Rückenschwimmender Congowels (Germany), Lille Rygsvømmermalle (Denmark)
Type LocalityRubi R. at Buta, Zaire.
Synonym(s)Synodontis contracta
Pronunciationsin oh don tiss - kon TRACK tah
EtymologySynodontis: From the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 60mm or 2.4" 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.

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.
SexingUnknown, hard to tell differences in genital papillae in such a small species.
General RemarksMales reach no larger than 70mm SL.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionAfrica: 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 StatusLeast Concern
pH6.2 - 7.6
Temperature22.0-26.0°C or 71.6-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingLive foods, frozen foods, tablet, granulated and flake foods. The species is fond of snails and some vegetable matter should be included in the diet.
FurnitureWell planted tank would best suit this fish as it lives in this type of habitat in the wild over muddy substrate.
CompatibilityA peaceful species even with its own kind.
Suggested TankmatesMost 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.
BreedingAlthough 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.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesAnn. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. `Giacomo Doria' v. 53 - pp24 [20] - Pl. 1
Registered Keepers(1) synoguy (k: 4), (2) Ak Viking, (3) Jools (k: 6), (4) synodont_fan, (5) RobDoran1, (6) Jeox, (7) Richard B, (8) Reginator (k: 2), (9) jippo (k: 6), (10) fuzzytigerbird, (11) MatsP (k: 9), (12) corybreed (k: 10), (13) Long Barbels, (14) johanwre, (15) protopterus, (16) caninesrock, (17) catfishchaos, who also notes: "Very secretive only coming out when food is added. remained hidden at LFS for at least 3 months before being discovered.", (18) Gulper.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 2005 February
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Last Update2013 Jul 18 23:58 (species record created: 2003 Aug 23 00:00)