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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis macrops  Greenwood, 1963
Common Name Apple Syno
Type Locality A tributary stream of Aswa River, Teso District, Uganda.
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - mah crops
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. macrops = large eyes
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.

Most easily distinguished by its distinct yellow colour. Spotted pattern especially marked in juveniles, but tends to fade with age.
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 Upper Nile. Distribution largely overlaps that of S. schall.
African Waters, Nile, Upper Nile (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 2006.
pH 6.5 - 8.5
Temperature 20.0-26.0°C or 68-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters pH is best kept at a slightly alkaline level around 7.5, with kH and GH of above 3-4. At lower levels, fin membranes start to deteriorate. Fish seems to do fine at pH and hardness typical of Lake Malawi conditions.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding A hungry, fast growing fish that will eat practically anything but is more carnivorous than most Synodontis species.
Furniture Caves, driftwood, plants like Vallisneria.
Compatibility Similar to S. schall. Like S. schall, S. macrops grows quite large and can be an aggressive, boisterous fish. Small fish up to 2 cm may be at risk. Keep with other similarly sized fish. Can be kept in a Rift Lake cichlid tank.
Breeding Unreported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
Reference Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London v. 140 (pt 1), pp 66.
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Last Update 2019 Sep 22 06:59 (species record created: 2003 Nov 15 00:00)