New Synodontis catfish named after Punu people

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Ichthyologists from Belgium and the Republic of Congo have described a new Synodontis catfish from central west Africa.

Emmanuel Vreven and Lucie Milondo name the new catfish Synodontis punu, after the Punu people living in the approximate area where it is found, in the latest issue of the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

Synodontis punu is similar to the recently described S. acanthoperca in having a single large opercular spine in mature males and a pair of dark patches (one on each lobe) on the caudal fin.

These two characters separate them from all congeners. Synodontis punu differs from S. acanthoperca by a wider upper jaw (premaxilla), a longer distance of the head behind the eye, a smaller eye, a deeper humeral process, more serrations on the front edge of the pectoral spine, and the absence of a saddle-shaped dark spot on the body behind the dorsal fin.

Synodontis punu is known from the Nyanga, Niari and Ogoou river drainages.

For more information, see the paper: Vreven, E and L Milondo (2009) Description of Synodontic punu, new species (Siluriformes: Mochokidae) from the Lower Guinea ichthyofaunal province (Gabon and Republic of Congo), Africa. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 20, pp. 97"104.