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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Synodontis petricola  Matthes, 1959
Common Names Pygmy Leopard Catfish
Kuckuck-Fiederbartwels (Germany)
Type Locality Lake Tanganyika.
Pronunciation sin oh don tiss - pet ree kola
Etymology Synodontis: From the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth. Petricola: From the Latin petra meaning rock and cola meaning living. In other words a rock dweller.
Articles
Article - Shane's World Species Visually comparing Synodontis petricola & S. lucipinnis
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 130mm or 5.1" 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.

Similar to four other described catfish from the lake. The cuckoo catfish, Synodontis multipunctatus, is the most common import and you, occasionally, may also encounter S. polli, S. dhonti and S. tanganyicae. All sport the distinctive white barbels and are spotted as juveniles to some degree or other and thus another form of quick identification prevails - S. petricola and S. lucipinnis, are the only species with a solid white leading dorsal and pectoral fin ray and the spotted body pattern. S. petricola can be differentiated from S. lucipinnis by the former having smaller spots on the head than the body spots.
All in all. this species (as presently defined) is highly variable and likely to contain more than one valid species in the long run.
Sexing Unknown.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Northern Lake Tanganyika, DRC, Africa
African Waters, Western Rift Valley Lakes, Tanganyika (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Status Least Concern
pH 7.0 - 8.5
Temperature 22.0-24.0°C or 71.6-75.2°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding A very easy fish to feed. All prepared foods are accepted and the fish will eat heavily thus making conditioning a relatively simple task.
Furniture Bogwood is utilised although rock clusters appear more preferable. Seems to enjoy long, tall, flowing plants such as giant Vallisneria.
Compatibility A social species tolerant of their own kind and unimposing.
Breeding Because of the similarity with S. lucipinnis, it is unclear if this species is the one many aquarists have spawned.
Breeding Reports There are 2 breeding reports, read them all here.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Folia Sci. Afr. Centr.v. 5 (no. 4) - pp78
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Last Update 2014 Oct 29 05:28 (species record created: 2002 Jun 10 00:00)