Synodontis lucipinna (= dwarf petricola)

7. October 2009

This beautiful Synodontis is a real dwarf compared with its numerous congeneers: it reaches only 8-10 cm (very old specimens in extreme spacy aquaria may reach 15 cm). In the hobby it became popular under the name “dwarf petricola”. Some species of Synodontis occuring in Lake Tanganyika (where S. lucipinnis is an endemic species) have a cuckoo breeding behaviour: they spawn together with spawning, mouthbrooding cichlids. They eggs hatch together with the cichlid´s eggs in the mouth of the mother where the young Synodontis feed on eggs and fry of the cichlids.

Breeding behaviour of the “dwarf petricola” is totally different. They are regular open brooders and egg scatterers that produce a lot more eggs than their cuckoo relatives. We offer the “dwarf petricola” which is probably identical with the species described by Wright & Page as Synodontis lucipinnis as German bred.

This Synodontis is a perfect tankmate for any cichlid in a Lake Tanganyika tank. The species should be kept in groups (five specimens upwards) for they have a very specialized sozial behaviour. Specimens kept solitary may become a plague to tankmates. They try to get in contact with them and biting is a common way of communication in Synodontis.

For our customers: the animals have code 185403 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale market.

Synodontis: an old name for an undetermined fish from the Nile. petricola: from ancient Greek, meaning “rock dweller”. lucipinnis: from Latin “lucidus” = bright, clear and “pinna” = fin, referring to the clear window at the base of each dark triangle on the fins (exception: the caudal fin), which is species-specific for S. lucipinnis. endemic: this means that a species is found only there and nowhere else in the World.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer