Our animals

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Northern lakes and seas

The ocean

Tropical rivers and lakes

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Dwarf mormyrid

Electric eel

Cave tetra

Neon tetra

Arowana

Philippines crocodile

Arapaima

Piranha

Stream aquarium

Under the riverbank

River cichlids

The plants in the river

Angelfish

Armored predators

Discusfish

Poison Frog

African river

Archerfish

Endangered species

Lake Tanganyika

Lake Malawi

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White-cheeked Turaco

White-cheeked Turaco

Gouldian Finch

Gouldian Finch

Red-rumped Waxbill

Red-rumped Waxbill

Zebra Waxbill

Zebra Waxbill

Zebra Waxbill

Zebra Waxbill

Leleups lemon cichlid

Leleups lemon cichlid

Largemouth stonecichlid

Largemouth stonecichlid

Fresh water puffer fish

Fresh water puffer fish

Isanga yellow fin jumbo cichlid

Isanga yellow fin jumbo cichlid

Princess of Burundi

Princess of Burundi

Neolamprologus caudopunctatus

Neolamprologus caudopunctatus

Spot-tailed Robber

Spot-tailed Robber

Tanganyika clown

Tanganyika clown

Blackchinned sand dweller

Blackchinned sand dweller

Tanganyika killifish

Tanganyika killifish

Cuckoo Catfish

Cuckoo Catfish

Six bar cichlid

Six bar cichlid

Humphead cichlid

Humphead cichlid

Humphead cichlid

Humphead cichlid

Blackchinned sand dweller

Blackchinned sand dweller

Whitespotted cichlid

Whitespotted cichlid

Featherfin cichlid

Featherfin cichlid

Ocellated Shell-dweller

Ocellated Shell-dweller

Kendall's Tanganyika cave cichlid

Kendall's Tanganyika cave cichlid

Tanganyika vacuum cleaner cichlid

Tanganyika vacuum cleaner cichlid

Ikola Blunt-Headed Cichlid

Ikola Blunt-Headed Cichlid

Bemba Blunthead cichlid

Bemba Blunthead cichlid

Cuckoo Catfish

Cuckoo Catfish

Facts

LatinSynodontis petricola
Size10.2 cm
FoodSmall crustaceans, insects and worms
HabitatIn lakes on rocky bottoms
IUCN

Least concern

LocationLake Tanganyika in Africa
Map

The small spotted catfish

The pygmy leopard catfish can be identified by the dark spots on the body and dark fins with white edges. It often swims near rocks or near the lake bottom. The pygmy leopard catfish resembles an armoured catfish.

An underwater cuckoo

The pygmy leopard catfish has the same strategy as that of the cuckoo bird. It gets other animals to hatch its eggs and raise its young.

The victim

The pygmy leopard catfish's victim is a cichlid. When the pygmy leopard catfish sees the cichlid laying eggs, it ventures out from its hiding place to eat them. During this action, the pygmy leopard catfish lays its own eggs in the water.

Hide the eggs in the mouth

In the confusion, the cichlid gathers together in her mouth all the eggs she can see – including those of the pygmy leopard catfish. Inside the mouth, the cichlid's eggs hatch after 2 weeks. But the pygmy leopard catfish's eggs hatch in just 3 days. The pygmy leopard catfish offspring then immediately eat the cichlid's eggs.