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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis brichardi  Poll, 1959
Common Names Brichard's Syno
Brichards Fiederbartwels (Germany)
Type Locality Rapids at Kinsuka, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - brish hard eye
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. Named after Pierre Brichard, a famous Belgian ichthyologist and student of African fish.
Article - CotM 2005 June
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 200mm or 7.9" 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.

Slender, tubular body and sucker-like mouth, both adaptations to the turbulent water flow of its native habitat. Brownish to dark bluish background coloration with roughly vertical creamy stripes. Colouration appears to fade with age. Short barbels.
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 punctured by the sharp fin spines (which hurts - be careful). 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. It 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 Lower Congo rapids, an area of heavy and turbulent water flow.
African Waters, Congo, Lower Congo (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Vulnerable, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2009.
pH 6.0 - 8.0
Temperature 22.0-27.0°C or 71.6-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Needs good oxygenation. The use of a power head or canister filter with spray bar is recommended. Otherwise, not very particular as to water quality.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Omnivore. In nature, feeds on filamentous green algae as well as insect larvae. In the aquarium, readily accepts flakes as well as live food. Condition with spirulina flakes and brine shrimp.
Furniture Plenty of driftwood and rocky areas exposed to strong water flow. A tight crevice formed with pieces of slate makes a good home.
Compatibility A peaceful fish that is nevertheless capable of self-defence.
Breeding Not reported in the aquarium.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
Reference v. 71 (art. 3), pp 100, Pl. 17 (figs. 2A-2C).
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Last Update 2019 Sep 14 03:41 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)