New catfish named Synodontis ngouniensis

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Belgian and French scientists have described a new mochokid catfish from west central Africa.

Publishing the description of Synodontis ngouniensis in the latest issue of Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, David De Weirdt, Emmanuel Vreven and Yves Fermon distinguish it from other Synodontis of the Lower Guinea Ichthyofaunal Province in having a dorsal spine with a smooth anterior margin except for the presence of 1-4 feeble serrations on the distal part; a maxillary barbel with a smooth membrane, which is proximally at least as broad as the barbel thread and situated on the posterior basal two third of the barbel; 12-19 mandibular teeth; 10-13 gill rakers on the ceratobranchial of the first branchial arch; a triangular humeral process, and a striking colour pattern of black overall background colour with irregular whitish lines and dots.

The new species is named after its type locality, the Ngouni River drainage, and is also known from the Nyanga River drainage (a smaller coastal river drainage south of the Ogoou River drainage in the Republic of Congo).

Synodontis ngouniensis has been collected in a river with turbid water having pH 8.4, a high conductivity (282 Scm-1) and a temperature of 24C.

For more information, see the paper: De Weirdt, D, E Vreven and Y Fermon (2008) Synodontis ngouniensis, new species (Siluriformes: Mochokidae)

from the Ngouni and Nyanga basins, Gabon and Republic of Congo. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 19, pp. 121"128.