Regular readers of my own blog may remember that I have a softspot for tropical catfish. The genus Synodontis (Cuvier 1816) is interesting for a number of reasons. For example, S. multipunctatus (the gorgeous fish pictured above) is the only fish known to practice brood parasitism: it manages to mix it eggs with those of mouthbrooding cichlids in Lake Tanganyika, its larvae grow faster than those of the host and feed on them.
Lake Tanganyika is, of course, famous for the cichlids which have been studied as an example of a rapid, recent radiation which was caused by environmental change (in this case, fluctuations in water level). It is also home to to other endemic fauna, including ten species of Synodontis. A recent study has used mitochondrial DNA to study the history of the genus in the region.
Read more over at Stranger Fruit.