Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011 : Upside-Down Catfish

Upside-Down Catfish

Upside-down catfish, Synodontis nigriventris, is a species of catfish. It is particularly noteworthy because of its habit of swimming upside down most of the time. Upside-down catfish originate from the Central Congo basin of Africa.

Upside-down catfish are small, reaching a maximum of 9.6 centimetres (4 in). Like other members of the mochikidae family, they have large eyes, a large dorsal fin and three pair of barbels. Upside-down catfish are adapted to spend most of their time upside-down. This is reflected in the fish's pigmentation—their bellies are darker than their backs, a form of countershading.

These fish are mostly nocturnal, and feed on insects, crustaceans, and plant matter. These fish lay eggs. The young fish do not swim upside-down until they are about two months old.

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