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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis schall  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Common Name Nile Squeaker
Type Locality Assouan, Nile River, Egypt.
Synonym(s) Hemisynodontis schall, Leiosynodontis maculosus, Pimelodus clarias, Silurus schall, Synodontis arabi, Synodontis gambiensis, Synodontis maculosus, Synodontis smithii
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - shall
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 370mm or 14.6" 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.

A robust and large fish. In juveniles the spots are smaller on the head and more faded on the fins the body having fairly evenly spaced small round dark spots on a whitish and brown mottled body. Sub-Adult coloration is solid shade of very dark gray or brown with small dark spots which are even smaller on the head and usually denser higher on the body. The fins can still retain faded spotting. As the fish gains adult size the spots will fade leaving a solid brown. Some specimens have reddish tails, as in Synodontis clarias, with which S. schall has often been confused. The ''schall complex'' includes several closely related fishes including S. macrops and S. budgetti. The long triangular humeral process comes to a point and has a thick lower margin. The Maxillary barbels have a narrow membrane.
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 Transcontinental distribution from the Nile and Eastern Rift Lakes (Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan) across to West African countries such as the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, GuineaBissau, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone).
African Waters, Nile (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Stephanie (Chew Bahir) (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Eastern Rift Valley Lakes, Turkana (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Tana (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Uebi Shebeli (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, Nigeria Waters, Niger (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Sénégal (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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IUCN Red List Status Least Concern
pH 6.0 - 8.0
Temperature 22.0-28.0°C or 71.6-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Relatively undemanding.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Omnivore with a voracious appetite. Will eat small tank mates! On the subject of food, this fish is an important food fish and has been from the time of the ancient Egyptians.
Furniture Driftwood, rocks, sturdy plants such as Vallisneria. Will appreciate a cave of its own.
Compatibility A rowdy fish. Keep with robust tank mates.
Breeding Has not been bred in aquaria. Is bred in irrigation canals and large ponds. In nature, breeding occurs during the flood season.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
Reference M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae, pp 385.
Registered Keepers Keeping this species? Why not .
There are 11 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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There are 7 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2019 Sep 20 00:20 (species record created: 2003 Jun 19 00:00)