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

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameSynodontis lucipinnis  Wright & Page, 2006
Common NamesDwarf Lake Syno
False Cuckoo Catfish, Petricola Dwarf Syno
Type LocalityMusende Rocks, Zambia, Lake Tanganyika, 8°46'00''S, 31°07'00''E.
Pronunciationsin oh don tiss - loo see pin niss
EtymologySynodontis: From the Greek syn, meaning together, and odontos, meaning tooth; in reference to the closely-spaced lower jaw teeth. From the Latin luci, meaning bright or clear, and pinnis, meaning fin. In reference to the light patches found at the base of the black triangles on the rayed fins.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 100mm or 3.9" 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.

Similar to 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. This fish however appears to be growing to a smaller mature size than S. petricola and is less heavily spotted in comparison. S. petricola can be differentiated from S. lucipinnis by the former having smaller spots on the head than the body spots.
SexingSee male and female image above.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionMusende Rocks area, Zambia, Lake Tanganyika.
African Waters, Western Rift Valley Lakes, Tanganyika (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Show it on a map (Click the map-icon to show/hide map of species distribution)
pH6.5 - 8.5
Temperature22.0-24.0°C or 71.6-75.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersSurprisingly this species reproduces in less than neutral pH water condition much removed from those found in it's native habitat.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingA very easy fish to feed. All prepared foods are accepted and the fish will eat heavily thus making conditioning a relatively simple task.
FurnitureBogwood is utilised although rock clusters appear more preferable. Seems to enjoy long, tall, flowing plants such as giant Vallisneria.
CompatibilityA social species tolerant of their own kind and unimposing.
Suggested TankmatesGiven that the fish doesn't require the water conditions normally associated with rift valley cichlids this renders virtually any aquarium fish of a suitable size and disposition a good tankmate. It's a community catfish for the masses!
BreedingReports are mixed as to whether this species is or is not a cuckoo spawner, possibly due to incorrect determination of species that have spawned. Videoed spawnings indicate that it is not a parasitic ''cuckoo'' spawner but rather an egg scatterer. See Catfish of the month article.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesBulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History v. 46 (no. 4), pp 126, Figs. 4A, 19
Registered Keepers(1) Birger (k: 9), (2) synoguy (k: 3), (3) zenyfish (k: 7), (4) mikey (k: 112), (5) Richard B (k: 8), (6) caudalis (k: 2), (7) Oliver D. (k: 6), (8) Noesis (k: 5), (9) GreenSynoMan, (10) Floody (k: 4), (11) kntrygrl4lyfe, (12) garibaldi, (13) teknikAL, (14) einstein-a-go-go, (15) Barbie, (16) kvnbyl (k: 25), who also notes: "Sold some, got to pay the electric bill somehow!", (17) alga (k: 6), (18) Landlubber, (19) jollysue (k: 7), (20) dwfish, (21) unblinded (k: 11), (22) FTLOSM, (23) goodmike (k: 25), (24) nascar2 (k: 9), (25) straitjacketstar (k: 3), (26) drgold (k: 13), (27) tomr (p: 4, k: 12), (28) Didgeridoo (k: 7), (29) Julie, (30) oxdeleon, (31) zappa0609, (32) cathje (k: 10), (33) d_frag, (34) worton[pl] (k: 5), (35) Moomoo, (36) Ak Viking (p: 2, k: 34), (37) DragonGT83, (38) Axlelene, (39) Phyllonemus, (40) andywoolloo (k: 4), (41) Azarak, (42) jha61, (43) oliv67, (44) Yann (k: 5), (45) Derzel, (46) drpleco (k: 5), (47) jippo (k: 4), (48) Humunuku (k: 7), (49) Bloodywertzie (k: 3), who also notes: "In 3 foot community tank.", (50) PeterUK (k: 3), (51) scleropages (k: 18), (52) gtuser (k: 4), who also notes: "Unure of sex mix, but have so far found 6 fry in tank - can't confirm if spawned via 'Cuckoo' or 'Egg scattering' method.", (53) zigster, (54) syno321, (55) smithrc, (56) wimmels, (57) I_Xeno (k: 5), (58) Syno Rey (k: 12), who also notes: "6 one inch babies in my 55 gal. with one and a half inch Elongatus Chewere fry", (59) shivamotiram, (60) DeepFriedIctalurus, (61) slayer5590, who also notes: "Lost 1 on 10/24/2012", (62) catfishhunter, (63) TheCichlidKid15, (64) fleahound (p: 2, k: 4), (65) rsyno (p: 2), (66) zipper, (67) Margie (k: 33), (68) tjudy, (69) richb, (70) shooter50014 (k: 6), (71) lasteeves (k: 20), who also notes: "We have three groups; one group of 10 adults and 10 juveniles split into two unequal groups. Interested in egg-collection/fry-rearing techniques.", (72) Ostafrika-Barsche, (73) redtigrinus, (74) eirisallen, (75) m1ke715m, (76) coachdavis73044 (k: 3), (77) Old MacDonald, (78) msjinkzd (k: 6), (79) igol66 (k: 8), who also notes: "SUPER CUTE!", (80) Marklar (k: 8), who also notes: "House in 450L Tanganyikan community tank with rock-dwelling and shell-dwelling cichlids and cyprichromis. Also housed in same tank are 6 S.multipunctatus. Water naturally hard and buffered to pH 8.2 Sharp-sand and raised slate tile substrate, sandstone rock formations Feeding as per cichlids (New Era red and green sinking pellets and Tanganyikan cichlid flake) and no doubt numerous cichlid fry.", (81) adoo (k: 10), who also notes: "Maintained in a species only tank for now, fed on Tropical (brand) Tanganyika flake.", (82) Madtundra01, (83) 24tropheus (k: 7), who also notes: "Usualy in general Tang community. 72"x24"x24" Bed em in a 36"x12"x15" and kept and sold some young. Back in community now.", (84) craigc, (85) oetheous, (86) PiggyCutie (k: 2), who also notes: "Showing mating dance", (87) chriscoli, (88) MrsJP, (89) 660Dave, (90) Matturbin, (91) Synofan1222, (92) River Birzer (k: 2), (93) Marine590622, (94) evojoey, (95) chalamala, (96) lynja321, (97) kwalker, (98) Kev_wayne, (99) Long Barbels (k: 2), who also notes: "Have spawned repeatedly. Female appears plumb and lightens in color and pair dives together into think plant growth in back of tank behind rock work. No attempt to capture or raise fry.", (100) Heyguy74, (101) robbiephoto, (102) creep, (103) oldfish (k: 15), who also notes: "Breed in cave with layer of marbles", (104) r7man (p: 2, k: 117), (105) apo1980, (106) dusanmal (k: 8), who also notes: "Haven.t found out how to split between aquariums but 4 unknown young adults in Malawi Mbuna aquarium and 4 juveniles in Malawi Juveniles aquarium", (107) CoryCatfish1212 (k: 3), (108) naturalart (k: 6), (109) mad357, (110) WadeNCreeks, (111) Schall, (112) ajw9356, (113) DravenMcCoy, (114) protopterus, (115) Nadiboy, (116) Lunadraco, who also notes: "Despite being one of the smallest fish in the tank, it is not shy. It can be seen swimming around all aquarium levels, but spends most of its time sitting with the polypterus trio.", (117) Mistyotis, (118) jvision (k: 12), who also notes: "8 are in a 25 gallon species tank, soon to be breeding. The rest are in a Tanganyikan Community tank.", (119) Tanganyikafreak (k: 4), (120) sturiosoma, (121) MSull, (122) unicornfish (k: 8), (123) jabones, (124) xroadiexstevex, (125) rs12178, (126) CatWhat, (127) kelynrowan (k: 2), (128) gulogulo (k: 5), (129) bethscofield (k: 2), (130) danielpblue (k: 16), (131) nascar0509, (132) Baloo (k: 7), who also notes: "Tank raised individuals of unique strain. Hardy and tolerant of some temperature variance.".

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Breeding Reports(1) r7man (b: 29), (2) kwalker (b: 9), (3) evojoey (b: 7).
Article - CotM 2001 June
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Last Update2014 Apr 17 15:35 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)