; subclass Actinopterygii, order Siluriformes)
A large family of freshwater catfish that have, typically, three pairs of feathery barbels around the mouth, an unusually large adipose fin behind the single dorsal fin, and a strongly forked tail fin. Several species, including Synodon schall (40 cm) and S. nigriventris (7 cm), often swim on their backs (upside-down), perhaps in search of insects at the water surface. There are about 150 species, found in Africa.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.