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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis decorus  Boulenger, 1899
Common Names Clown Syno
Schmuck-Fiederbartwels (Germany)
Type Locality Nouvelle-Anvers, Zaire.
Synonym(s) Synodontis decora, Synodontis vittatus
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - deck oh rus
Etymology Synodontis: From the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth. Decora means decorated.
Articles
Article - CotM 2002 March
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 270mm or 10.6" 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.

Juveniles have a long filament on the leading dorsal fin ray.
Tan background colouration with black spots.
One of only three Synodontis species (with S. clarias and S. flavitaeniatus) with filaments on both maxillary barbels and mandibular 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 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 Congo basin except Luapula River system. One of the many interesting Synodontis species found in Malebo Pool.
African Waters, Congo (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Congo, Lower Congo, Pool Malebo (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)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Eats crustaceans, algae and insect larvae in the wild. Is not a fussy eater in the aquarium. Will accept flakes and tablet foods. Periodically supplement with frozen food (e.g., krill, brine shrimp and bloodworm) and live food.
Furniture Rockwork, driftwood, sections of pipe with a diameter of 10-12 cm. Grows to about 30 cm, so will need at least a 200 litre tank when it reaches adulthood. This fish does not like bright lights, but with sufficient cover, such as floating plants, it will make the occasional appearance with the lights on. With bright lights, it will sometimes dash out for food, but will otherwise keep itself hidden until the tank is dark.
Compatibility Compatible with all but tiny fish. Can hold its own with large, aggressive fish, but best kept away from fin-nippers which might be tempted to pick at the filament on its dorsal fin.
Suggested Tankmates Large enough to hold it's own in any American cichlid tank, larger individuals will even adapt to African rift lake cichlid tanks. Best kept with larger African characins and barbs.
Breeding Not reported in the aquarium.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Ann. Mus. Congo (Ser. Zool.)v. 1 (fasc. 3) - pp49 - Pl. 25
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Last Update 2014 Dec 02 12:42 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)