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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameSynodontis robertsi  Poll, 1974
Common NamesRoberts' Syno
Large Blotch Syno, Large Blotch Synodontis, Roberts Fiederbartwels (Germany)
Type LocalityElombe, Lukenie R., Zaire, 2°49'S, 18°14'E.
Pronunciationsin oh don tiss - rob ert si
EtymologySynodontis: From the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth. Named after Tyson Roberts of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 75mm or 3" 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.

A small fish, as Synodontis go. Colour pattern like that of a giraffe, a brown background with white or yellow worm lines. Transparent fin membranes with brown spots. Strongly forked caudal fin. Large eyes. Similar to the much larger (20cm) S. caudalis .
SexingFirst 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
DistributionCentral Congo, Lukenia and Egombe Rivers
African Waters, Congo, Middle Congo (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Gabon Waters, Egombe (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Congo, Lower Congo, Kasai, Lukenia (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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IUCN Red List StatusData Deficient
pH6.4 - 7.6
Temperature23.0-28.0°C or 73.4-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersExcessively low pH (below 6.0) will result in erosion of fin rays and membranes.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingNot a fussy eater. Will accept flake and tablet food. Especially enjoys live and frozen bloodworm and brine shrimp.
FurnitureHiding places provided by plant cover.
CompatibilityA small, peaceful fish that is a model citizen in a community tank. Not very shy, but appreciates plant cover.
Suggested TankmatesNot good with boisterours fish, ideal tankmate for African characins.
BreedingNot yet successfully bred in captivity.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesRev. Zool. Afr.v. 88 (no. 2) - pp442 - Fig. 1
Registered Keepers(1) Oliver D. (k: 6), (2) GreenSynoMan, (3) synodont_fan (k: 4), who also notes: "Great species. Unusual color pattern, very mild mannered and relatively active. Behaves like a large cory.", (4) V, (5) jemslie, (6) Jools (p: 2, k: 4), who also notes: ".", (7) Richard B, (8) Frido (k: 4), (9) Mruaru, (10) chalamala, (11) jippo (k: 7), (12) Long Barbels, (13) protopterus, (14) Gulper.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 2006 July
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Last Update2014 Nov 01 14:45 (species record created: 2001 May 04 00:00)