Last modified at 10/05/2018 12:46 by System Account







Fishes are the oldest and the largest group of vertebrates, having evolved some 450 million years ago. During the long course of their evolution fishes have kept pace with the development of a variety of aquatic environments both on the surface and in the subterranean waters, from the depths of the seas to the highest mountain ranges, from the tropics to polar regions, penetrating into hot springs and soda lakes, either confined to one system or being migratory.  They range in size from  8-10 mm (small gobies, cyprinids and schindleriids ) to the giant 12 m Whale Shark and are found in all shapes, from typical torpedo contour, to round and flat and bizarre forms, from brilliantly colored to drab, and showing extreme modifications in  structures like fins, scales and eyes to suit their  habitats.

Nelson (2006) estimated 27,977 valid species of fishes under 62 orders, 515 families and 4,494 genera, and the eventual number of extant fish species, projected to be close to, conservatively, 32,500, a great leap form the 144 species known in the days of Pliny, around 77 A.D. About 11,952 species or 42.72 %, normally live in freshwater lakes and rivers that cover only 1 % of the earth's surface and account for a little less than 0.01% of its water. The secondary freshwater species number 12,457 and the remaining 3568 species are exclusively marine.


The Indian subcontinent, occupying a position at the confluence of three biogeographic realms, viz., the Palaeartic, Afro-Tropical and Indo-Malayan, exhibits a great variety of ecological habitats, harbouring rich ichthyofaunal diversity, comprising about 2546 species of which 956 species are freshwater inhabitants and 1570 are marine.  The Indian species represent about 8.9% of the known fish species of the world.


Research today is oriented towards identifying anthropogenic pressures and ecosystem destruction to formulating management strategies and conservation measures, and restoration of natural populations through ranching and habitat improvements, study of fish genetics in identifying natural stocks and management of genetic diversity in these stocks.


History of Fishery Research in India

Fishes are of immense value to humans beings.  Being rich in protein they form a staple item in the diet of many.  Apart from their role in the food web of piscivorous animals and other organisms, they also interest humans by providing recreational and psychological value to the naturalist, sports enthusiast, and home aquarist, serve as indicators of pollution, and as larvivorous species in malaraia control.  Interest in fish and fisheries in India dates back to the pre-vedic period and a wealth of knowledge exists, based on shape and structure and keen observation, through the vedic and post-vedic periods, the period of Sangam literature of South India, the works of Kautilya (Arthashasthra, ca 300 B.C.) and King Someswara (Manasallosa, 1127 A.D.) and the Mughul period (Hora, 1952).

Record of primitive fish's dates back to the Cambrian period, about 550 million years ago. These jawless fishes lived relatively unchanged over the following 100 million years. The Devonian period, about 360 to 400 million years ago, is known as the "Age of Fishes," because of the abundance and diversity of fishes that appeared during this period. Fishing is one of the oldest human activities, and it developed gradually, when our ancestors moved from the collection of plants and animals to hunting by using tools and weapons. The oldest fishing implements so far identified is harpoons, found in the territory of Congo, and dated about 90,000 years (Stringer and McKie, 1996). In India too, it is believed that the development of fishing must have been parallel. There are reports that fishes were grown in reservoirs as early as 320 BC.

Fisheries research in India was initiated by the early naturalists from the Museum of Natural History in England and in the European countries, who identified and catalogued specimens collected from India.  Beginning with Carolus Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, there have been several ichthyologists who studied and described new species of Indian fishes (the earlier undivided India). Russell made the first systematic study of the Indian fish fauna from 1785 to 1789 AD. There were evidences to indicate over-fishing in the Ganga River as early as 1785.  Scientific and more accurate taxonomic accounts on Indian Fishes started from the 19th century beginning with the work of P. Forsskal (1775) on general description of several animal groups including fishes distributed in the Indian seas, M.E. Bloch (1785-95), Bloch and J.G. Schneider (1870) giving  an illustrated and  systematic account of fishes followed by  Hamilton-Buchanan's (1822) account of the fishes of  the Ganges, succeeded by  B. Lacepede (1803) and  G.L.C.F.D. Cuvier and A. Valenciennes ( 1816, 1828) on the Natural History of Indian Fishes, J. McClelland (1839) on Indian Cyprinids, Col. W. Sykes (1839) on the fishes of  Dukhen (Deccan), T.C. Jerdon (1849) on the freshwater fishes of Southern India,  P. Bleeker (1849 – 1879) on various groups especially the cyprinoids E. Blyth (1858, 1860) on fishes as Curator and on fishes collected from the Sittang River and its tributaries, a wealth of information on the fish fauna of India was made available. The most outstanding contribution was that of Dr. Sir Francis Day, a veterinary surgeon and naturalist who traveled extensively in India in the mid-nineteenth century and wrote several scientific papers and monographs such as the "Fishes of Malabar" in 1865. The most colossal work and the bible of Indian ichthyology is his work titled "The Fishes of India" in two volumes published during 1875-78, and his "Fauna of British India" in 1889, describing 1,418 species along with a separate volume on illustrations with 195 plates.  Later, Alcock added 86 new genera and 200 species to the list.


In India, during pre-independence, regulations regarding the fisheries were essentially revenue-oriented, and expressed little interest in the development of the fisheries. The first fisheries department explicitly aimed at developing the fisheries was the Madras Presidency, organized in 1907 by Sir F. Nicholson, also called the "Father of Indian Fisheries Development" (Bensam, 1999c; Devanesen, et al., 1953).  During the close of 19th century and starting of 20th century, officials of the Marine Survey of India and the Zoological Survey of India undertook numerous studies on fishes and other aquatic fauna (BOBP, 1982). In the 1930s, Dr. Stanley Kemp, Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Plymouth, U.K. and the former Director of the Zoological Survey of India, also emphasized the need to improve knowledge on Indian fishes (Bensam, 1999b).  In spite of these, marine fisheries in India were neglected until the 1940s. The Second World War (1939-1945) changed this situation. During the war, India provided bases for American and other allied army personnel and this brought the problem of supplying adequate amounts of good quality fish. This scarcity of food led to interest in expansion of marine fisheries. As a result, Dr. Beni Prasad, the then Director of the Zoological Survey of India, was asked to inquire and write a report on Indian fisheries (Bensam, 1999a).



           Fish and Fisheries

The United Nations Law of the Sea Convention granted rights to Coastal States to have an extended jurisdiction over their Exclusive Economic Zone ( EEZ) of  200 nautical miles from  the traditional 12 nautical miles of territorial waters along the coast by Bay Islands.  India today has 2.02 × 10 6 sea area, comprising 0.86  × 10 6 on the west coast including the Lakshadweep Sea, 0.56 × 10 6 on the east coast and 0.60 × 10 6 around the Andaman and  Nocobar Islands ( Silas, 2003). The Indian seas harbour around 1570 species which constitutes about 63 % of the known ichthyofauna of India. India ranks seventh among the major fishing nations of the world and contributes about 45 % of the fish landings of the Indian Ocean. Talwar & Kacker (1984) in their book on the Commercial Sea Fishes of India detail 548 economically significant marine species belonging to 235 genera under 88 families.


Interest in marine resources took root with the beginning of marine expeditions from the late 19th century. Several Institutions like the Zoological Survey of India and Central Fishery Research Institutions and State Fisheries Departments were established for survey and studies of the fish and fishery resources of India. 


Marine Fisheries in India had its beginning in the study of the bionomics of selected fish species such as the oil sardine, other clupeoids, milkfish, and mackerel, Bombay duck, the larger croakers, silver bellies and carangids. Later developments include length based stock assessment models, trophic models of the fisheries ecosystems and random sampling techniques for proper management of fishery stock and estimation of the exploited marine fishery resources. Further advancement in marine fisheries includes satellite imagery in minimizing the search time for shoaling fishes which congregate along current boundaries, slicks, areas of upwelling, submerged sea mounts and thermal fronts. With the development of sophisticated fishing gears and vessels, marine fishery resources were exploited to its maximum. Marine fishery resources were considered inexhaustible, until failing fishing stocks and vanishing species led to the implementation of management strategies for restoring habitats and fish stocks to original sustainable levels.  In the early 1970's major efforts were made to develop coastal aquaculture which includes estuarine, coastal brackish water lagoons and wetlands and mariculture. Fishes bred in the hatcheries and cultured in farms include the groupers, sea bass, mullets and pearl spots.


India is the 3rd largest fish producer in the world with total production of 86.66 lakh tonnes for the year 2011-2012 (33.71 lakh tones of marine and 52.95 lakh tonnes for Inland fisheries). The marine fishery resources of India's EEZ stands assessed at 3.93 million tonnes. This resource is distributed in inshore (58%), offshore (34.9 %) and deep-sea (7%) waters. As per the estimates of CSO, the value of the output from fisheries sector at current price was about rupees 76,699 crores during 2011-12 which is about 4.15 % of the value of agriculture and allied sector output at current price. The fishery sector provides livelihood for nearly 14.49 million peple in India. India is the second largest producer of fish in the world contributing to about 5.43 % of the global fish production. During 2010-11, the volume of fish and fishery products exported from India was 8,13,091 tonnes worth rupees 12,901.47 crores and during 2011-12 for the first time export earnings have crossed 3.5 billion $ (Annual Report 2012-13 EFG).


Table : Fishery Resource in India




No. of species in the world

No.  Families

No. of Genera

No. of Species

Anguilliformes 114998625



The Indian fish fauna includes 2 endemic families viz., parapsilorhynchidae (hill stream fishes with one genus and three species) distributed in Western Ghats, Satpura Mountains and Bailadila range of Madhya Pradesh. The class horaichthydae includes a monotypic species horaichthyes setnai distributed in the west coast of India.   The fishes of India ( faunal resources, Ramakrishna & Alfred 2007) contain 223 endemic species representing  8.75 % of the fishes known from India ( while the fish database records 213 species of endemic forms) and 127 monotypic genera ( 13.10 % of the Indian genera ).  Most of these endemics, numbering 116 species are exclusive to the Western Ghats, found mostly in the upper reaches and isolated river stretches (Remadevi, 2003), the details are as shown in the table.

Order Family Genera Species
Total  ----     62378223



Ichthyofaunal diversity

Jayaram (1999) listed 852 freshwater species of fishes under 272 genera, 71 families and 16 orders, including both primary and secondary freshwater fishes from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The checklist of Menon (1999) lists 446 primary freshwater species under 33 families and 11 orders from the Indian region alone. There are several species which are endemic to the different river systems and endemism is seen to be more in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats and in the north east of India.  It is also known that about 68 % of the freshwater fishes are constituted by the Cyprinoids, 18 % by Siluroids and 14 % by other groups.


Current range of freshwater fish diversity

Southern states :

Tamil Nadu                         -                              153 species (13 endemics)

Kerala                                   -                              165 species (34 endemics)

Karnataka                            -                              240 species (26 endemics)

Andhra Pradesh               -                                              167 species (3 endemics)

Maharashtra                      -                              135 species (6 endemics)


Distribution in Major  Ecoregions of India

Western Ghats                 -                              332 species (116 endemics)

Northeast                           -                              269 species (38 endemics)

Gangetic Plains                                 -                              271 species


Fish distribution in the different river systems

Cauvery                               - 148 spp. (17 endemics)

Pennar                                 -   88 spp.

Krishna                                 - 160 spp. (16 endemics)

Godavari                              - 122 spp. (7 endemics)

Mahanadi                            -   75 spp. (3  endemics)

Ganges                                 -  271spp.

Brahmaputra                     - 166 spp.

Among the State of India,  Karnataka is the richest in ichthyofaunal diversity and the state of Kerala has the most number of endemic species.  Among the various river systems in which the ichthyofaunal composition is known, it is observed that Ganges harbours the greatest ichthyofaunal diversity and River Cauvery the greatest number of endemic species. Of the different major ecoregions of India, Western Ghats is the richest in ichthyological diversity and endemicity.


Freshwater Fish Culture

Fish culture in the Indian subcontinent is perhaps as old as 321 and 300 B.C. with literature available on flourishing fish culture during this time The end of the 19th century saw warm water fish culture in ponds involving collection and transport of carp spawn from rivers, and pond management, confined originally to Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, subsequently spreading to other states. The importance of fish culture as a source of food production was realized resulting in fish culture activities throughout the country.  The beginning of the 20th century marked the introduction of several exotic species in Indian waters (Jhingran, 1983).  The unplanned introduction today of several fast growing opportunistic species has now replaced our indigenous species.  Further the introduction of ornamental species has also been a cause in the decline of our own fauna.


Some important freshwater culture fishes:

Indigenous fishes:

Catla catla (Hamilton)

Labeo rohita (Hamilton)

Labeo calbasu (Hamilton)

Labeo fimbriatus (Bloch)

Labeo bata  (Hamilton)

Cirrhinus mrigala (Hamilton)

Cirrhinus reba (Hamilton)

Etroplus suratensis ( Bloch)

Anabas testudineus ( Bloch)

Wallago attu (Bloch)

Aorichthys seenghala (Sykes)

Channa striatus  ( Bloch)

Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus)

Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch)

Exotic Food Fishes:

Aristichthys nobilis (Richardson)

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Valenciennes)

Cyprinus carpio (Linnaeus)

Ctenopharyngodon idella (Valenciennes)

Gambusia affinis (Baird & Girard)

Gambusia holbrooki Girard

Tinca tinca (Linnaeus)

Carassius carassius (Linnaeus)

Carassius auratus auratus (Linnaeus)

Osphronemus goramy Lacepede

Oreochromis mossambica (Peters)

Oreochromis niloticus niloticus

Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum)

Poecilia reticulata Schneider

Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchell)

Salmo trutta fario (Linnaeus)

Salmo trutta trutta (Linnaeus)

Xiphophorus hellerii (Heckel)

Larvicidal Fishes

Poecilia reticulata (Peters)

Gambusia affinis (Baird & Girard)


Game fishes:  Notopterus chitala (Hamilton) which grows up to 120 – 150 cm and weighs nearly 30 –35 kg is distributed in the tanks and rivers of indo-genetic plain.   Chela argentata day is distributed in peninsular India and the Indian trout Raimas bola (Hamilton), Tor chilinoides Mc Clelland, Tor putitora (Hamilton), Tor tor, Acrossocheilus hexagonolepis (mc Clelland), Schizothorax planifrons Heckel are all distributed in the foothill of Himalaya.  Among estuarine and sea game fishes Megalops cyprinoides (Broussonnet), Lates calcarifer (Bloch), Eleutheronema tetradactylus (shaw), Lutjanus argentimaculata, Scomberomorus commersoni (Lacepede), Scommersoni, A guttatusSalmo trutta fario Linnaeus, S gairdnerii gairdnerii Richardson, Sparus berda and Sparus datia are important ones.  Mahaseer – the premier sport ​

fish abound in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. This potential resource led to the holding of an international angling festival" consecutive for two years with the prospects for tourism.  Besides above, the trout fishery, both brown and rainbow trout variety being cultured for stocking the cold water resources has gained popularity for providing recreation to the defence personal posted in the forward areas of northeast region as well as upper stretches of himalaya.


Culture and capture fisheries were encouraged, with rapid strides being made by the Freshwater  Riverine, Reservoir and  Upland Cold Water Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector. The major achievements in riverine faunal studies include the study of the bionomics of large fishes such as the Tor and Neolissochilus species and the migratory Hisla ilisha who's breeding and rearing had been standardised.   Riverine fisheries are based on both man made and natural systems and the large irrigation tanks, and reservoirs which number 19,370 covering water spread area of 3,153,366 ha. The major ichthyofaunal composition of the Upland Cold water Fisheries include the snow trout's and major strides have been made in the   breeding of different species of Schizothorax in the Loktak Lake, Manipur. Further developments include the successful breeding of the golden Mahseer Tor putitora and development of composite fish culture suitable for the hill regions with the exotic species viz. Cyprinus carpio, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and Ctenopharyngodon idella. The breeding and propagation of the mahseer was a success at the Tata Electric Company's Wulvhan Lake at Lonavala, Maharashtra and the introduced rainbow trout in the cold waters of the Nilgiris. Freshwater Aquaculture proved successful with the spawn collection from natural spawning grounds by stripping, to induce breeding of Indian major and minor carps, catfishes and other species including the minnow Esomus danricus. Induce-bred carps include Labeo rohita, L. bata, Cirrhinus mrigala, C. reba and Puntius sarana (Silas, 1953). From carp pituitary extracts through human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), isolation, characterization and purification of fish gonadotropin (GtH) and fish gonodotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) have been used for fish breeding. Today Ovaprim ® prepared from salmon gonadotropin releasing hormone and domperidone are used for carp and catfish breeding. Ovaprim® has been a boon for aquaculturists with standardized dosages for selected species increasing yield from 490 million fish fry in 1973-74 to over 25,000 million fry today.  Research is underway in the field of induced breeding using various other hormones and study of pheromones of fish species. Research projects on  food and feeding habits of  fishes, parasites and diseases and control measures,  amenability to polyculture and composite species culture , sewage tolerant  and organic waste recycling species and  integrated fish farming (crop-livestock-fish-prawns) in  paddy field  species and  monosex culture  have all yielded excellent results and boosted aquaculture practices in India (Silas, 2003). There are several colourful freshwater fishes which are used in ornamental trade.


Resolving Taxonomic ambiguities 

The taxonomic status of several fish species is still unresolved. There remains to be done many revisionary studies for clearly defining a species / different stocks / subspecies and species complex.  One particular group of interest is the common freshwater genus Puntius  of  Hamilton (1822) which until recently included several   species groups, have now been assigned to different genera viz. Barbodes, Hypselobarbus, Gonoproktopterus, Tor, Neolissocheilus and Puntius based on biometric and osteological studies.  Biochemical and Molecular Genetics supplement taxonomy mostly based on biometric studies of fishes. At the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources  (NBFGR ) different stocks of Catla catla and Labeo  rohita from different rivers of the Gangetic plains and northeast India have been identified using molecular and allozyme markers and in the endemic yellow catfish Horabagrus brachysoma from Chalakkudy and Meenachil rivers in the Western Ghats .  Similar stock distinctions were observed in the butterfish Lactarius lactarius from the east and west coasts of India.  Species which have been synonymised earlier are now known to be valid species as in the case of Puntius, Tor,Aplocheilus,Oryzias and Channa.   Several such studies are going on and this is sure to change the concept of species, diversity of species   and identification of associated habitats for conservation measures.


Habitat Diversity vs. Ichthyofaunal diversity

Several new species have been described recently with revisionary studies of various freshwater groups viz. the study of the subfamily  Nemacheilinae by Menon (1987) yielded several new species each unique to a particular river  system. In his subsequent work on the 'Threatened Fishes of India and their Conservation', based on his study on the fishes of the west flowing rivers of Kerala, Menon (1989-1992) remarks that much study remains to be done on the several west flowing rivers of the Western Ghats, each with unique microhabitats and that each system is bound to contain distinct fauna owing to the isolation of river systems. This study has opened up a new approach and the result is astonishing in that each isolated river system is indeed found to harbour its own species diversity. Similar studies have now been undertaken in the north east with several species described from the Brahmaputra and also reported from the Barak and Chindwin drainage in Manipur, now proving to be distinct species. Such indepth taxonomical studies of the various riverine species of India are sure to increase the species number manifold.


Threats to Ichthyofaunal diversity

The problems relating to loss in biodiversity can be listed as follows and some key problems are detailed below:

·         Deforestation and resultant change in water quality

·         Habitat destruction and reclamation

·         Pollution of water by effluents and other anthropogenic activities

·         Indiscriminate killing of breeders and juveniles

·         Using dynamites, poisons and other destructive collection practices

·         Introduction of exotic fishes and monoculture

·         Over fishing and exploitation of resources

Habitat loss and loss of Ichthyofaunal diversity

The diversity of fish species is determined by several physical factors i.e. size, depth, flow, gradient and quality of stream and biotic conditions such as food, vegetation and substratum. Fish diversity increases from upstream to downstream with the upper reaches harbouring highly specialized species adapted to rapid currents while the lower reaches are more species owing to the varied niches and range of food available, the species being common to several river systems. Habitat destruction due to deforestation and other causes results in increased erosion and suspended matter and deposition of fine sediments resulting in habitat loss and destruction of spawning grounds and species extermination.  Different river systems are known to harbour some species exclusive to that system and this will be lost for ever due to habitat destruction (Rema Devi, 2003).

Introduction of Exotics

The introduction of exotics like Oreochromis mossambica, Cyprinus carpio have no doubt contributed much to the country's fish production, but they have also had a negative impact on the indigenous fishes in the form of competition, predation, and environmental modification and so on.  The unprecedented spread and colonization of the hardy O. mossambica has been posing severe threat to our indigenous fishes competing with the latter for space and food and quickly replacing them. The popular aquaculture and angling species C. carpio causes harm to other species by stirring up bottom sediments and creating turbid conditions in impoundments.  In the Kashmir valley this species has replaced the indigenous Schizothoracine fishes and in the Loktak Lake in Manipur it has eliminated Osteobrama belangari, and the large indigenous Hypselobarbus periyarensis from the Periyar Lake, Kerala (Menon, 1989-92). Likewise the introduction of larvicidal fishes Gambusia affinis and Poecilia reticulata has almost replaced the indigenous Aplocheilus parvus and Oryzias carnaticus and O. dancena. Also the introduction of Gangetic carps into the peninsular rivers has affected the indigenous carps of the peninsula.  These introductions generally cause zoogeographical pollution, loss of genetic identity of local populations, a high level of hybridization, and extinction or reduction of local communities of endemic species.  Parasites and diseases have also been introduced with alien species. Introduction of species in the upper reaches will have more deleterious effect since the upper reaches harbour highly specialized and endemic species. A recent disturbing observation is the introduction and widespread culture of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus. This species has literally wiped out other species from temple tanks and ponds were they have been introduced. Species introduced for ornamental purposes are now well established in the wild as the cichlid the flowerhorn or Cichlasoma species and the scaled Loricarid catfish species.

 Over –Exploitation and Destructive Collection Practices

The world's oceans were for long considered to be of unlimited fishery potential. Despite sophisticated fishing gears and extended jurisdiction of coastal waters the situation is getting critical by the day. The dwindling fishery stock are now a cause for great concern and without good management for sustainable yield and with only improved fishing crafts and gears, many fish stock will disappear as the once thriving whaling  industry prior to world war II.  Fishes are also the subject of international and domestic agreements and disagreements.
In inland water bodies also collection of fish in numbers more than what can be recruited will ultimately destroy the whole population. Avoiding catching of breeding fish and juveniles with mesh regulations and restrictions on catches of smaller sized fish will protect the progeny. Over-fishing has resulted in the decline of several catfishes like Bagarius bagarius, Silonia childreni, Pangasius pangasius, Sperata aor and S. seenghala in the lower reaches of the river Godavari.  Closed season i.e. restriction on fishing during certain periods is followed in several states and all large reservoirs fishing is closed from June to July, to end of September so that fishes are not disturbed during their breeding migrations.
​​Indiscriminate use of poison to collect fish from pools and refugial pockets where fish take shelter when rivers dry up, and dynamiting to collect fish in large numbers, will result in complete elimination of the fish species, since both juveniles and breeding fish and other non target species all fall prey to such destructive methods. The use of explosive or poisonous substances has been banned in various states of India.

Conservation Measures

The conservation measures for protection of animal diversity and sustainable use are summarized below:

·         Nature Reserves :

 Fish Sanctuaries

a.       Deep-pools.

b.      Temple tanks and fort moats.

c.       River stretches below dams as sanctuaries.

d.      Upper reaches of rivers as sanctuaries.

·         Captive Breeding

·         Habitat  Protection

·         Abatement of Pollution

·         Ban of expansion of plantations in the hill ranges.

·         Monitoring Stations.

·         Augmenting stocks in rivers.

·         Ecological and life history studies.

·         Wetlands as protected areas.

·         Ban on introduction of exotic species for ornamental or culture purposes

Governmental and Non-Governmental Initiatives

The enactment of the Indian Fisheries Act of 1897 was a milestone in the history of Indian Fisheries, which delegated to the erstwhile Provinces (States) the responsibility of development, management and conservation of fisheries in the inland and the territorial waters of the respective states.  It also empowers the States to formulate their own rules and regulations for the protection and safeguard of their fisheries.  Under the 1901 Mysore Game and Fish Act (Established by Maharaja of Mysore to protect the game fish), the Department of Fisheries had limited power to enforce conservation measures. It is for this reason the Karnataka Inland Fisheries Conservation Development Regulation Bill, 1996 is currently being passed. This provides a uniform legislation to allow protection of Indigenous species in the recently integrated districts of Karnataka. The other Acts that have been in force towards conservation and sustainable use and are listed here from Karnataka

Karnataka Marine Fishing (Regulation) Act (No. 24 of 1986)

Karnataka Marine Fishing Regulation Rules, 1987 (No. 24 of 1987)

Agreement on the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and the Pacific-1988

Though there are several Government Acts which impose restrictions on indiscriminate fish catching, scant respect is being given to the regulations and restrictions by the fishing community.  Unless it dawns on each and every group involved in fishing that conservation is very essential for sustained catches, it is impossible to implement any legal measures. Environment awareness programmes could help in this regard.

Several Non-Governmental Organisations, the Industrial and Corporate Sectors have had both positive and negative impact on our ichthyofauna. At a time when there was a sharp decline in catches of large Mahseers, the National Commission on Agriculture recommended a comprehensive survey of rivers and streams known to have Mahseer stocks. In 1976, the Wildlife Association of South India (WASI) leased about 22 km of Cauvery, 60-80 km from Bangalore, for conservation of Tor khudree. During Aug-Sep 1978, Trans World Fishing Expedition (TWFE) collected the species ranging from 13.6-30.8 kg in weight, the biggest Mahseer captured at Moshelli Halla weighing 32.0 kg. There are recent reports of the successful fishery management of this species in River Coorg.  For a number of years WASI has been stocking the leased stretch with Mahseer fingerlings.  Today the fishing season is open to licensed fishermen during day time from October to May.  Only rod and line fishing is allowed and there is a ban on using dynamites and poison.  Records of catches are carefully maintained. Between 1989 and 1996 the Mahseers captured ranged from 21.6 to 48.1 kg. Mahseer stock in this carefully managed stretch of the Cauvery is now protected from overfishing, with large-sized mahseers available to licensed sport fishermen. The Coorg Wild Life Society, Madikere is another voluntary organization engaged in Mahseer protection in the Cauvery, leasing river stretches, stocking young Mahseers since 1993, organizing sport fishing and maintaining fish catch statistics. The Tata Electric Companies (TEC) fish seed farm at Lonavala, Maharashtra, has been carrying out artificial propagation, rehabilitation and conservation since the 1970's of Tor khudree, Tor tor and Tor putitora, the species being successfully bred using hypophysation in 1995 and 1996. The Department of Fisheries, Government of Karnataka and the Fish Farmer's Development Agency, Yadavagiri, Mysore has rehabilitated the river with fry and fingerlings of Tor khudree, from TEC's fish farm, as part of the implementation of the project launched in 1987. The Karnataka Power Corporation Limited has initiated in 1996 the stocking and management of the species in 5 ha hatchery.

Gaps in Ichthyofaunal assessment

An understanding of fish diversity is not complete, with many new species still being discovered in recent years.  A thorough survey of the rivers, the upper reaches, especially the west flowing rivers, and the different drainages in the north east, the two hot spots of India, is sure to reveal many more interesting species.  Recently three subterranean species and catfish species were discovered from Kerala and several cyprinid and catfish species were discovered from the north east (Vishwanath Singh, N Sen and others). The biology of many species is not understood.  Unless an understanding of its food habits and spawning requirements are known, conservation measures cannot be carried out.
Fisheries administration should be aware of the distribution of endangered and vulnerable species in their jurisdiction when making recommendations to the Ministry of Agriculture for introduction of any exotic fish.  When exotic fish introductions are made in drainages shared by neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, it should be with their approval.  In the ICAR Committee meeting for introduction of exotic fishes, whenever necessary, representatives of the neighbouring countries should also be invited to participate (Menon, op.cit.). Strict implementation of the rules should be done and those found erring should be seriously dealt with.  Any policy decision should be made with a multidisciplinary approach.
There should be more interaction between the biosystematists and the aquaculturists.  Better results with least loss to endemics can be achieved with a broader vision.  Entire trophic levels must be understood in an ecosystem and importance must be given to each species, whether they are small or big or of commercial importance or not.

Gaps in Institutional and Human Resources

The main cause of centinelan extinction is the lack of sufficient biosystematists in various groups to keep pace and identify the vast array of existing species before they are lost to anthropogenic activities. The various departments dealing with fisheries and other biological disciplines, for a better understanding of the ecosystem, should make a concerted effort towards cataloguing, and protecting the species. A centralized system should exist, which regulates the function of the various disciplines.  At least frequent interactions between the major institutions which have records of  faunal diversity, can work more effectively and economically than isolated futile attempts by various organizations in various directions.
​More importance should be given to fish taxonomy since there are several species yet to be studied and described. If timely action is not taken, the biosystematists themselves (non-commercial group) will soon become an endangered lot, with biotechnologists and aquaculturists soon replacing them.  The eternal conflict between consevationists and commercialists can never be overlooked.

Freshwater Fishes of Karnataka

The geographical area of Karnataka is 192,204 km2 which is nearly about 5.85 % of the total geographic area of the country, located between the latitudes 110 12' N and 180 12' N and longitudes 730 48' E and 780 18' E, located at the western edge of Deccan Plateau.  The state has nearly 4.57 lakh hectares of Inland waters in the form reservoirs, ponds and tanks, 9000 kms of river and canals and ca 320 kms of coast line (4.40 lakh hectares of reservoirs, 2.90 lakh hectares of tanks and ponds as well as 0.10 lakh hectares of brachish water, thus totaling 7.40 lakh hectares of water bodies) makes it an ideal place of fisheries and aquaculture.  The annual fish production of Karnataka stands 5.46 lakh tonnes during 2011 – 12. 

The fresh water fishery resource of Karnataka was explored systematically by S. Hora during 1937, subsequently by Bhimachar and Subba Rao (1941), Chacko and Kurien (1948), David (1963), Rahman (1978), Rajgopal, (1982), Jayaram (1982), Raghunathan (1989). Recently, Chandrashekaraiah (2000) gave a detailed account of the ichthyofauna of Karnataka listing 97 species from Cauvery River, 101 species from Krishna River and 60 species from Godavari River. Subsequently Remadevi, while giving a detailed account of Freshwater Fishes of Karnataka listed 213 species (2013).  The present list includes 240 species of Freshwater fishes from Karnataka, of these 92 species are endemic to Western Ghats and 16 species are endemic to the state of Karnataka.


Fish Sanctuaries in Karnataka

There are some gems of community conservation which protect not only rare native fish species, but the entire riverine habitats through simple, participatory measures, without any infrastructure development or external funding. Today, these community conserved fish sanctuaries are some of the very few places where we can see native fish and undisturbed river stretches. Most of these are temple sanctuaries, managed by the riparian temples and devotees for centuries (www.

1.       Fish sanctuary at Sringeri maintained by Shri. Sharada Peeta, Sringeri Mutt wherein the endangered Sahyadri Mahseer fish, Tor khudree is protected in a small river stretch of the river Tunga.


2.        Chippalgudde Matsya Dhama, Tunga River, Teerthahalli, maintained by Siddivinayaka Trust on the banks of the river Tunga. The 4 km stretch protects more than 27 species of fish and significant species include the endangered Mahseer (Tor kudree) and Puntius pulchellus, the only indigenous herbivorous fish in our country.


3.       Shishisla Matsya Teertha, Kapila/Kumardhara River, Dakshina Kannada is probably the first protected area for conservation and protection in the country established in 1930.  The conservation area supports nearly 18 species with a predominance of Tor kudree.


4.       Bachananayakagundi and Dharmasthala at Dakshin Kannada,

5.       Jammatagi Agrahara at Chikmagalore

6.       Ramanathapura at Hassan

7.       Thingale on Seethanadi, Thingale Temple Sanctuary is a newly constituted sanctuary, set up by a Bhajani Mandal on the banks of Seethanadi, near Agumbe

7.Besides above, the Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks (26 in total) are protected under Law in Karnataka which harbor many wetlands/water bodies of importance including the conservation of fishes.


The author wish to express his deepfelt thanks to Dr. R.R. Rao, Former Director, CIMAP, Dr. M. Sanjappa, Former Director, BSI, Dr. M.D. Rajanna, Professor, University of Agricultural Sciences for their constant encouragement.  Help received from the colleagues of ZSI, especially Dr. M. Remadevi, Dr. K.C. Gopi is thankfully acknowledged. The compilation is made possible with the active support and  encouragement by Sri. R.M.N. Sahai IFS (Rtd), Chairman and Sri. R.K. Singh IFS, ACCF and Member Secretary, Karnataka Biodiversity Board, Bengaluru.  Lastly, convey my thanks to Smt Jyothi Ramakrishna and Chi. Deepti Ramakrishna for their ungrudging help rendered during the compilation.


List of Fishes of Karnataka and their conservation status

Sl. No.


IUCN Status

Common Name


Notopterus  notopterus

Least Concern

Asiatic Knife Fish, Bronze feather back


Barilius bakeri**

Least Concern

Malabar Beril


Barilius barna

Least Concern

Barna Baril


Barilius canarensis 


Jerdon's Baril, Mirror Fish


Barilius bendelisis

Least Concern



Barilius  gatensis**

Least Concern

Malabar Beril


Barilius evezardi**

Data Deficient



Barilius vagra

Least Concern



Salmophasia acinaces**

Least Concern

Silver Razorbelly Minnow


Salmophasia balookee

Least Concern

Reddaiah Razorbelly Minnow


Salmophasia  belachi




Salmophasia boopis**

Least Concern

Boopis Razor Bely Minnow


Salmophasia  clupeoides 

Least Concern

Bloch Razorbelly Minnow


Salmophasia horai**


Hora Razorbelly Minnow


Salmophasia longicauda**

Least Concern

Novacula Razor Belly Minnow


Salmophasia novacula**

Least Concern

Novacula Razor Belly Minnow


Salmophasia untrahi**

Least Concern

Mahanadi razorbelly Minnow


Chela laubuca

Least Concern

Indian Glass Barb


Chela dadiburgori

Least Concern

Dadio, Burjor's Brilliance


Esomus barbatus**

Least Concern

South Indian flying Barb


Esomus danricus

Least Concern



Esomus  thermoicos 

Least Concern

Flying Barb


Devario aequipinnatus

Least Concern

Giant Danio


Devario devario

Least Concern

Bengal Danio


Devario fraseri


Fraser Danio


Devario  malabaricus

Least Concern

Giant Danio,  "the bobby fish",


Danio devario 

Least Concern

Bengal Danio


Danio rerio

Least Concern

Zebra Danio, Zebra fish


Rasbora  caverii 

Least Concern

Cauvery rasbora


Rasbora  daniconius

Least Concern

Slender Barb, Striped  Rasbora


Rasbora labiosa

Least Concern

Slender rasbora


Rasbora rasbora 

Least Concern

Gangetic Scissortail Rasbora


Amblycepts mangois

Least Concern

Indian Torrent Catfish


Amblypharyngodon melettinus

Least Concern

Silver Carplet


Amblypharyngodon  microlepis

Least Concern

Indian Carplet, Carplet


Amblypharyngodon mola

Least Concern

Mola Carplet


Ctenopharyngodon idella

Least Concern

Grass Carp


Thymnichcthys sandkhol


Sandkhol Carp


Cyprinus  carpio  communis 


Common Carp


Cyprinus carpio specularis

Least Concern

Mirror Cap


Tor  khudree 


Deccan Mahseer


Tor malabaricus


Malabar Mahseer


Tor neilli**

Least Concern



Osteobrama bakeri

Least Concern

Malabar Osteobrama


Osteobrama cotio peninsularis**

Data Deficient

Peninsular Osteobrama


Osteobrama neilli**

Least Concern

Nilgiri Osteobrama


Osteobrama virgosii**

Least Concern

Bheema Osteobrama


Hypothalamichthys molitrix

Near Threatened

Silver Carp


Puntius  amphibius        

Data Deficient

Scarlet-banded Barb,


Puntius arulius arulis


Longfin Barb


Puntius assimilis

Least Concern

Mascara Barb


Puntius  bimaculatus

Least Concern

Red Side Barb, Two Spot Barb


Puntius  cauveriensis  **


Cauvery Barb


Puntius  chola

Least Concern

Swamp barb or Chola Barb


Puntius  conchonius 

Least Concern

Rosy barb, Red Barb      


Puntius coorgensis

Least Concern



Puntius crescentus**




Punitus deccanensis**

Critically Endangered

Deccan Barb


Puntius denisoni**


Denison Barb, Red Lined Torpedo


Puntius  dorsalis **

Least Concern

Long Snout Barb


Puntius  fasciatus fasciatus

Least Concern

Melon Barb


Puntius fasciatus pradhani

Least Concern

Melon Barb


Puntius filamentosus**

Least Concern

Indian Tiger Barb, Blackspot Barb


Puntius jerdoni

Least Concern

Jerdon's carp


Puntius mudumaliensis**




Puntius narayani**

Least Concern

Narayan Barb


Puntius nigripinnis

Least Concern

N one


Puntius parrah**

Least Concern

Parrah Barb


Puntius phutunio

Least Concern

Dwarf Barb, Spotted-sail Barb


Puntius punctatus**

Least Concern



Puntius sahyadriensis**

Least Concern

Khavli Barb, Indian Maharaja Barb


Puntius setnai**




Puntius  sophore

Least Concern

Spotfin swamp barb, Pool barb


Puntius ticto

Least Concern

Ticto Barb


Punitus vittatus

Least Concern

Green stripe Barb


Barbodes bovanicus**

Critically Endangered

Bovany Barb


Barbodes carnaticus

Least Concern

Carnatic Carp


Barbodes  sarana sarana

Least Concern

Olive Barb, Peninsular olive Barb


Barbodes sarana  subnasutus

Least Concern

Olive Barb


Barbodes wynaadensis

Critically Endangered



Osteochilus nashii  **

Least Concern

Nash Barb, Chandkas Barb


Osteochilichthys thomassi**

Least Concern

Karnataka Barb


Cirrhinus cirrhosus**

Least Concern

 Cauvery White Carp


Cirrhinus fulungee

Least Concern

Deccan White Carp


Cirrhinus horai

Least Concern



Cirrhinus mrigala

Least Concern

Mrigal Carp


Cirrhinus reba

Least Concern

Reba Carp


Labeo ariza

Least Concern

Ariza carp


Labeo bata

Least Concern

Labeo, Bata, Minor Carp


Labeo boggut

Least Concern

Boggut Labeo


Labeo calabasu

Least Concern

Karnataka Labeo


Labeo dussumieri

Least Concern

Malabar Labeo


Labeo fimbriatus

Least Concern

Fringed-lipped Peninsula Carp


Labeo kawrus

Least Concern

Deccan Labeo


Labeo Kontius

Least Concern

Pigmouth Carp


Labeo nigrescens  

Least Concern



Labeo porcellus

Least Concern

Bombay Labeo


Labeo Potail


Deccan Labeo


Labeo rohita

Least Concern



Crossocheilus latius latius

Least Concern

Gangetic Latia


Garra bicornuta**

Near Threatened

Tunga Garra


Garra gotyla stenorhynchus**

Least Concern

Nilgiris Garra


Garra mcclellandi**

Least Concern

Cauvery Garra


Garra mullya

Least Concern

Suckerfish, Mullya Garra


Acanthocobitis  botia

Least Concern

Zipper Loach


Acanthocobitis mooreh**

Least Concern



Schistura  denisoni  denisoni 

Least Concern



Schistura denisoni mukambbikaensis 

Least Concern



Schistura kodaguensis**




Scistura nagodiensis**




Schistura nilgiriensis**

Least Concern



Schistura sharavathiensis  **




Schistura  semiarmatus

Least Concern

Dotted Loach, Fascinating Loach


Longischistura bhimacharii


Dotted Loach


Lepidocephalichthys guntea

Least Concern

Peppered Loach, Guntea Loach,


Lepidocephalus  thermalis

Least Concern



Mesonoemacheilus guentheri

Critically Endangered

Gunthers Loach


Bagarius yarelli

Near Threatened

Giant Devil Catfish


Hemibagrus punctatus

Critically Endangered

Nilgiri Mystus


Sperata aor

Least Concern

Long whiskered Catfish


Oreonectes (Oreonectes) evazardi

Least Concern



Batasio sharavatiensis**


Sharavati Batasio


Mystus armatus

Least Concern

Kerala Mystus


Mystus canarensis

Least Concern



Mystus cavasius

Least Concern

Gangetic Mystus


Mystus gulio

Least Concern

Long whiskered Catfish


Mystus keletius

Least Concern

Keletius Mystus


Mystus krishnensis

Least Concern

Krishna Mystus


Mystus malabaricus  **

Near Threatened

Jerdon's Mystus


Mystus menoda

Least Concern



Mystus  montanus **

Least Concern

Wynaad mystus


Mystus vittatus

Least Concern

Striped Dwarf Catfish


Hemibagrus punctatus**

Least Concern

Nilgiri Mystus


Ompok  bimaculatus

Near Threatened

Butter Catfish


Ompok pabo

Least Concern

Pabo Catfish


Clarius batrachus

Least Concern

Magur, Catfish


Clarias dayi

Least Concern

Malabar Clarid


Clarias dussumieri  **  

Least Concern

Valencienne's Clarid


Clarias garinpinneus

Least Concern

Africal Catfish


Glyptothorax lonah

Least Concern

Mountain Catfish


Heteropneustes  fossilis

Least Concern

Stinging Catfish


Rhinomugil  corsula

Least Concern

Corsula, Corsula Mullet


Horaichthys setnai 

Least Concern

Miniature Indian Rice fish, Thread Killifish , Glaskilli


Xenentodon  cancila

Least Concern

Freshwater Garfish, Freshwater Needlefish


Macrognathus aculeatus

Least Concern

Lesser Spiny Eel


Macrognathus aral

Least Concern

One stripe spiny eel


Aplocheilus blocki

Least Concern

Green Panchax


Aplocheilus lineatus

Least Concern

Malabar Killie, Striped Panchax


Aplocheilus panchax

Least Concern

Blue Panchax


Gambusia affinis

Least Concern

Mosquito fish


Poeclia reticulata 

Least Concern

Guppy, Rainbow Fish


Mastacembelus  armatus

Least Concern

Spiny eel


Mastacembelus pancalus

Least Concern

Strped Spiny eel, Barned Spiny eel


Parambasis ranga

Least Concern

Indian Glassy fish


Parambasis thomassi

Least Concern

Western Ghats Glassy Perchlet


Pseudosphromenus  cupanus

Least Concern

Spike tail Paradise Fish


Chanda  nama 

Least Concern

Elongate Glass Perch let


Pristolepis  marginata

Least Concern

Malabar Leaffish, Common Catopra, Yellow Sunfish


Etroplus canarensis**

Least Concern

Canara Pearl spot


Etroplus  maculatus

Least Concern

Orange Chromide


Etroplus suratensis

Least Concern

Banded Etroplus


Glossogobius  giuris 

Least Concern

Fresh Water Goby


Anabas testudineus

Least Concern

Climbing Perch


Channa leucopunctatus

Least Concern



Channa marulius 

Least Concern

Bull's-eye Snakehead


Channa  orientalis 

Least Concern

Asiatic Snake head


Channa punctatus

Least Concern

Spotted Snakehead


Channa striata

Least Concern

Snakehead Murrel


Amblypharyngodon melettinus

Least Concern

Silver Carp let


Horadandia brittani

Least Concern

Green Carplet, Glow-light Carplet


Hypselobarbus curmuca**


Curmuca Barb


Hypselobarbus dobsoni

Data Deficient

Krishna Carp


Hypselobarbus dubius


Nilgiri Barb


Hypselobarbus kolus**


Kolus Barb, Shooting Barb


Hypselobarbus kurali**

Least Concern



Hypselobarbus lithopidos**

Data Deficient

Canara Barb


Hypselobarbus musullah


Humpback Mahseer


Hypselobarbus periyarensis**


Periyar Barb


Hypselobarbus pulchellus**

Critically Endangered



Hypselobarbus thomassi**

Critically Endangered

Red Canarese Barb


Rohtee ogilbii

Least Concern

Vatani rohtee


Bangana ariza

Least Concern

Ariza labeo


Psilorhynchus tenura

Critically Endangered



Balitora mysorensis


Slender stone Loach


Bhavania australis

Least Concern

Western Ghats loach


Noemacheilus altipedunculatus

Least Concern



Nemacheilus anguilla

Least Concern

Black lined Loach


Nemacheilus denisoni

Least Concern



Nemacheilus nilgiriensis

Least Concern



Nemacheilus pulchellus




Nemacheilus ruppelli**

Least Concern

Mongoose Loach


Nemacheilus semiarmatus **

Least Concern

Fascinating Loach, Dotted Loach


Nemacheilus shimogensis




Nemacheilus triangularis**

Least Concern

Zodiac Loach


Neomacheilus petrubanarescui




Mesonoemacheilus guentheri 

Least Concern

Gunther's Loach


Nemachilichthys shimogensis 




Botia striata


Zebra Loach


Pangio goaensis

Least Concern

Indian Coolie Loach


Rita gogra

Least Concern

Gogra Reeta


Rita kuturnee

Least Concern

Deccan Rita


Rita pavimentata

Least Concern

Gogra Rita


Hemibagrus maydelli

Least Concern

Red tipped Halfbeak


Neotropius khavalchor

Data Deficient

Khavalchor  Catfish


Proeutropiichthys taakree  

Least Concern

Indian Takree


Eutropiichthys goongwaree 

Data Deficient



Eutropiichthys vacha

Least Concern

Batchwa Vacha


Ompok bimaculatus

Near Threatened

Butter Catfish


Ompok malabaricus 

Least Concern

Goan Catfish


Batasio sharavatiensis 


Sharavathi Batasio


Batasio travancoria


Malabar Batasio


Pterocryptis wynaadensis


Roundtailed Killer Catfish


Wallago atttu

Near Threatened

Freshwater Shark


Silonia childreni 


White Catfish


Pangasius pangasius

Least Concern

Yellowtail Catfish


Chanos chanos 

Not Evaluated



Horabagrus brachysoma 


Sun Catfish


Glyptothorax annandalei

Least Concern



Glyptothorax housei 




Glyptothorax kudremukhensis

Critically Endangered

Kudremukh Glyptothorax


Glyptothorax lonah

Least Concern

Mountain Catfish


Glyptothorax trewavasae




Oryzias carnaticus 

Least Concern

Spotted Ricefish


Pristolepis marginata

Least Concern

Yellow Sunfish


Sicyopterus griseus  

Least Concern

Clown Goby


Carinotetraodon travancoricus


Malabar Pufferfish


Gagata itchkeea 


Deccan Nangra


Megalops cyprinoides 

Data Deficient

Indo-Pacific Tarpon


Anguilla bengalensis

Near Threatened



Anguilla bicolor

Near Threatened

Shortfin Eel


Betadevario  ramachandrani

Data Deficient



Tilapia microlepis

Least Concern

African Catfish


Tilapia mosambica

Least Concern

Common Tilapia


Hyporamphus xenopterus 


Red tipped Halfbeak


Schismatorhynchos nukta  



** Western Ghats endemic fish species​

Status of fishes of Karnataka


CR – Critically Endangered; End – Endangered ; Vu – Vulnerable; L C – Least Concern; N T – Near Threatened; DD- Data Deficient; NE- Not Evaluated


Details of Fishes of Karnataka

1 Notopterus  notopterus  Pallas, 1769
 ClassificationOrder : Synbranchiformes, Sub order : Notopteroidei ; Family  : Notopteridae; Notopterus
 Synonyms Notopterus bontianus Valenciennes, 1848
Notopterus kapirat Lacepède, 1800
Notopterus osmani Rahimullah & Das, 1991
Notopterus pallasii Valenciennes, 1848
 Current name Notopterus notopterus (Pallas,1769)
 Author & Citation1769 Gynopterus notopterus Pallas, Spicil. Zool., 7 : 40 Pl.6. fig. 2
 Type locality Not Known
 Common Name (English)Asiatic Knife Fish,  Bronze feather back
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Chamari, Chappali, Pappari
 Distribution in KarnatakaKrishna, Cauvery river basins ; water bodies of Bengaluru, Chikkamagaluru ,
 Distribution in IndiaIndus, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Krishna, Cauvery, and other river basins in southern India
 Distribution elsewhereIrrawaddy, and Salween; Meklong, Chao Phraya, Mekong and virtually all coastal river basins of peninsular Thailand and Malaysia; Sumatra and Java. Has never been reported in Borneo and is not present in the Red River basin of Tonkin (North Viet Nam).
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Least Concern



A Carnivorous species inhabits fresh and brackish waters, and appears to thrive well in lentic waters.

Roberts, T.R., 1992. Systematic revision of the old world freshwater fish family Notopteridae. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwat. 2(4):361-383.




2 Barilius bakeri Day,1865
 Classification Actinopterygi CypriniformesCyprinidae
 Synonyms Opsarius bakeri (Day, 1865)
 Author & Citation 1865 Barilius bakeri Day, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1865 (1): 305
 Current name  Barilius bakeri Day 1865
 Type locality Barilius bakeri was described by Day (1865) from Mundakkayam, Kerala, India.
 Common Name (English)Malabar Beril
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Bilcha, Agasagittu menu
 Distribution in KarnatakaSpecies is recorded from Sharavathi River basin. 
 Distribution in IndiaKarnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
 Distribution elsewhere Endemic to Western Ghats
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern

W.P. A.                   Schedule – V


B. bakeri is endemic to the Western Ghats where it has been recorded from mid- and higher-elevation streams of major rivers in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This fish is known to occur in rapid and run microhabitats mainly in low to moderate gradient streams with bed rock, boulders, cobbles and gravel as major substrates.


An interesting species for export : 200 fishes exported to Singapore on 8th May,2014; 280 fishes exported to UK on 23rd April,2013; 200 fishes to Singapore on 18th Feb. 2014 and 190 fishes to UK on 5th Feb.2014; 600 to Singapore on 2nd Feb. 2014; 800 Singapore on 18th Dec. 2013 Ref.  




3 Barilius barna  Hamilton,1822
 Classification Actinoptergii  Cypriniformes  Cyprinidae

Barilius jayarami Barman, 1985

Cyprinus barna Hamilton, 1822

Opsarius barna (Hamilton, 1822)

Opsarius fasciatus McClelland, 1839

Opsarius latipinnatus McClelland, 1839

Leuciscus barna (Hamilton,1822)

 Author & Citation 1822 Cyprinus barna Hamilton, F., - Edinburgh & London: i-vii + 1-405 An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches
 Current name   Opsarius barna (Hamilton 1822)
 Type locality Ganges
 Common Name (English)Barna Baril,
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Kere Kalyani
 Distribution in KarnatakaSigadala & Cauvery river system & Krishna river system
 Distribution in IndiaDescribed from the Yamuna (Ganges system) and Brahmaputra river basins in northern India and according to current thinking also occurs in the Mahanadi drainage
 Distribution elsewhereNepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Rhakine State, Myanmar.
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern

W.P. A.                  Schedule – V


Inhabits well-oxygenated, medium-to-high gradient, moderate to fast-flowing rivers and streams with substrates of gravel, cobbles, larger boulders and exposed bedrock.  Adults live in hill streams and large rivers. Found in clear hill streams with gravelly bottom. This species is not common in the aquarium hobby though seen it on sale occasionally, usually as 'striped hill trout' or 'banded hill trout'.

Exported to Israel on 22nd July and 3rd June,2013 and to Japan on 3rd June and 11th March,2013 (Ref: ORNAMENTAL-hs-code.html)



4                                      Barilius canarensis Jerdon,1849
 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Opsarius canarensis Jerdon, 1849

Opsarius malabaricus Jerdon, 1849

 Author & Citation 1849 Opsarius canarensis Jerdon [T. C.], :329 [Madras Journal of Literature and Science v. 15 (pt 2)
 Current name  Barilius canarensis (Jerdon 1849) 
 Type locality Canara, southern India. canarensis: named for the Canara/Kanara region in Karnataka
 Common Name (English)Jerdon's Baril, Mirror Fish
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaChikkamagalur and Shimoga, with records existing from the Sharavathi, Bhadra, Tunga and Netravathi drainages. All these rivers drain from Western Ghats
 Distribution in IndiaKerala (Chalakudy, Muvattupuzha, Bharatapuzha, Manimala, Kabini and Valapatanam require)
 Distribution elsewhereEndemic to Western Ghats, India
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Endangered



Inhabits well-oxygenated, low-to-medium gradient, moderate to fast-flowing rivers and streams with substrates of gravel, cobbles, larger boulders and exposed bedrock.

Korkanhalla stream is the type locality of Psilorhynchus tenura Arunachalam and Muralidharan, 2008, and  at around 650 m AMSL.

It has a mixed gravel/cobble susbstrate and B. canarensis was also recorded from upper tributary of the Tunga river system flowing through Khudremukh National Park  with sympatric species including Parambassis rangaGarra mullyaG. bicornutaOsteochilichthys nashiiDawkinsia aruliusPuntius sahyadriensis .




Barilius bendelisis Hamilton,1807


 Classification Actinopterygi : Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Cyprinus bendilisis Hamilton, 1807 

Cyprinus chedra Hamilton, 1822

Cyprinus tila Hamilton, 1822

Leuciscus branchiatus McClelland, 1839 

Cyprinus apiatus Valenciennes, 1840

Barilius howesi Barman, 1986

 Author & Citation 1807 Cyprinus bendelisis Hamilton, F., 1807 - T. Cadell and W. Davies, London: i-iv + 1-479  A journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore, Canara, and Malabar,
 Current name  Barilius bendelisis (Hamilton 1807)
 Type locality Hamilton (1807) described Cyprinus bendilisis from Cedawáti (Vedawati) stream, headwaters of Krishna River near Heriuru, Mysore, India. Later it was placed under the genus Barilius.
 Common Name (English)Nil
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Nil
 Distribution in KarnatakaVedavathi stream, Krishna River near Heruru
 Distribution in IndiaThroughout India
 Distribution elsewhereBangladesh; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka; Thailand
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern


 RemarksNot known since its description from Karnataka now synonymized as Cyprinus cosca by Remadevi and Indira (ZSI Checklist). However, the present status of Cyprinus cosca it self has changed as valid as Opsarius cocsa (Hamilton 1822), the synonomy of Remadevi and Indira is not sustainable.



6 Barilius gatensis Valenciennes,1844
 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Barilius rugosus Day, 1867

Leuciscus gatensis Valenciennes,1844

Opsarius gatensis  Valenciennes, 1844

 Current nameo    Leuciscus gatensis Valenciennes, 1844
 Author & Citation1844 Leuciscus gatensis,  Valenciennes [A.] in Cuvier & Valenciennes :309, Pl. 503 [Histoire naturelle des poissons v. 17;  Mountains of Gates, India.
 Type locality Mountains of Gates, India referring to south Indian montains (Western  Ghats)
 Common Name (English)Malabar Beril
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Nil
 Distribution in KarnatakaBadra and Sharavathi  rivers
 Distribution in IndiaWest and east flowing rivers and streams of Kerala,  Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Chalakudy, Periyar,  and Bharathapuzha  in Kerala and the Cauvery and Tamiraparani in Tamil Nadu 
 Distribution elsewhere Barilius gatensis is endemic to the Western Ghats in India
 Threat Category / Endemism

IUCN :                  Least Concern



Barilius gatensis occurs in the highlands and midland reaches of the Western Ghats. They normally inhabit pools and slow flowing runs and need well oxygenated, running water for optimum survival.

Barilius gatensis is not a targeted species, but is occasionally consumed by local people. It has also started featuring in the aquarium trade in recent years (Raghavan 2010).



7 Barilius evezardi Day,1872
 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Current status Barilius evezardi Day 1872.
 Author & Citation 1872 Barilius  evezardi,  Day [F.] 1872:326 [Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal v. 41 (pt 2, nos 1-4);  Poona [Puna], India
 Type locality Barilius evezardi was described by Day (1872) from Pune, Maharashtra state, India.
 Common Name (English)Nil
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Nil
 Distribution in KarnatakaRabkavi, Karnataka
 Distribution in IndiaReported from only four location viz., Panchaganga river in Kolhapur; Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh, on the Krishna river, Rabkavi, Karnataka,  Godavari river and west flowing rivers of northern Western Ghats 
 Distribution elsewhereNil Known only from Karnataka and Maharastra
 Threat Category/ Endemism

IUCN :                  Data Deficient



Barilius evezardi is currently known only from five reports including the original description. Out of these reports the report by David (1963) mentions some deviations in the specimen from the original description of B. evezardi.

Report of the fish from Krishna river, Godavari river and west flowing rivers by Yadav (2003) is not backed up with taxonomic details and even exact localities of the collection are not mentioned. Furthermore, in spite of five independent studies from 1942 to 2003 the species has not been recorded from its type locality in Pune.



8 Barilius vagra Hamilton,1822
 Classification Actinopterigii : Cypriniformes : Cypariniidae

Cyprinus vagra Hamilton, 1822

Opsarius isocheilus McClelland, 1839

Opsarius bicirratus McClelland, 1842

Opsarius piscatorius McClelland, 1842

Barilius alburnus Günther,1868 Barilius (Pachystomusbleekeri Day, 1872


 Current name   Barilius vagra Hamilton 1822
 Author & Citation 1822 Cyprinus  vagra,  Hamilton [F.] 1822:269, 385 [An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges
 Type localityType locality is the 'Ganges about Patna' which corresponds to the city of Patna in Bihar state 
 Common name (English)None
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaWestern Ghats rivers
 Distribution in IndiaKarnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
 Distribution elsewhereAfghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
 Threat category / Endemism

IUCN                         Least Concern


`RemarksThe colour of this fish with beautiful combination of different shades is very attractive. It is fish of small size, growing to 12.5 cm. It is of minor interest to fisheries.



9 Salmophasia acinaces (Valenciennes, 1844)
 ClassificationActinopterygii ,  Cypriniformes,  Cyprinidae 














   Chela argentea Day, 1867

   Leuciscus acenaces Valenciennes,1844

   Oxygaster argentata (Day,,1867)

   Pelecus diffusus Jerdon, 1849

   Salmostoma acinaces Valenciennes, 1844

·         Salmophasia bacaila (Hamilton, 1822)

·         Salmophasia balookee (Sykes, 1839)

·         Salmophasia belachi (Jayaraj, Krishna Rao, Ravichandra Reddy, Shakuntala & Devaraj, 1999)

·         Salmophasia boopis (Day, 1874)

·         Salmophasia horai (Silas, 1951)

·         Salmophasia novacula  (Valenciennes, 1840)

·         Salmophasia orissaensis (Banarescu, 1968)

·         Salmophasia phulo (Hamilton, 1822)

·         Salmophasia punjabensis (Day, 1872)

 Current name Salnophasia acinaces Valenciennes, 1844
 Author & Citation1844 Salnophasia acinaces Cuvier G, Valenciennes, Historie naturelle de poissons Tom_Dix- Septieme. Suite de livre de huitieme, cyprinoides, Historie naturelle de poissons, 17 : i – xxiii + 1-497 + 2 pp + pls. 487 – 519.
 Type locality Mysore India
 Common Name (English)Silver Razor Belly
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Bilchi, Milli, Sampaj
 Distribution in KarnatakaSampaje (Cauvery river system + Western Ghats rivers)
 Distribution in India Salmophasia acinaces is distributed in peninsular India (Menon 1999) and it is known from Krishna river system and all the river systems south of it. Record of this species from Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. 
 Distribution elsewhereBangladesh, Nepal
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Least Concern

W.P. A.                 Schedule – V


The species inhabits hill streams (Menon 1999) and attains a length of 15 cm total length.

Ref: Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran, 1991. Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries. vol 1. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam. 541 p.





Salmophasia balookee Sykes, 1839

Salmophasia  clupeoides  Bloch = Chela balookee Sykes,

 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Chela balookee Sykes, 1839

Chela teekanee Sykes, 1839

Cyprinus clupeoides Bloch, 1795

Cyprinus cyprinoides Bloch & Schneider, 1801

Pelecus affinis Jerdon, 1849

Salmostoma balookee Sykes, 1839

Salmostoma clupeoides Bloch, 1795

Salmostoma kardahiensis Reddiah, 1980

Leuciscus dussumieri Valenciennes, 1844

Perilampus teekanee Sykes, 1839

Leusiscus clupeoides Bloch, 1795

Oxygaster clupeoides Bloch, 1795

 Author & Citation1839. Chela balookee Sykes, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1838 (6): 160
 Current status Salmophasia balookee is a replacement name for Salmophasia clupeoides (Kottelat 1996).
 Type locality Deccan, India
 Common Name (English)Bloch Razorbelly Minnow, Reddaiah Razorbelly Minnow
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaKrishna and Godavari river systems
 Distribution in India Salmophasia balookee is found only in the Peninsular India. This species is present in Narmada, Krishna, Godavari and other river systems of southern India. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh
 Distribution elsewhereMyanmar
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



Salmophasia balookee is found in upper drainage of large rivers (Menon 1999). It is also found in lakes and reservoirs (Devi et al. 2007). It attains a total length of 15 cm.

Salmophasia balookee is a replacement name for Salmophasia clupeoides (Kottelat 1996). Bloch (1795) described Cyprinus clupeoides from India, but the name is a junior primary homonym of Cyprinus clupeoides described by Pallas (1776). As a result, Kottelat (1996) suggested replacement name for Cyprinus clupeoides Bloch and used the next junior synonym of the species which is Chela balookee described by Sykes (1839) from Deccan plateau of India



11 Salmophasia  belachi Jayaraj, Krishna Rao, Ravichandra Reddy, Shakuntala & Devaraj, 1999
 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Synonyms Salmostoma belachi Jayaraj, Krishna Rao, Ravichandra Reddy, Shakuntala & Devaraj, 1999
 Author & Citation 1999 Salmostoma  belachi,  Jayaraj [E. G.], Krishna Rao [D. S.], Ravichandra Reddy [S.], Shakuntala [K.] & Devaraj [K. V.] 1999:113, Fig. 1  Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society v. 96 (pt 1); 
 Current name Salmophasia  belachi Jayaraj, 1999
 Type locality Salmophasia belachi was originally described as Salmostoma belachi by Jayaraj et al.(1999) from Nelligudda reservoir, 35 km from Bengaluru southern India.
 Common Name (English)None
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in Karnataka Salmophasia belachi is currently it is known only from one location (Nelligudda reservoir) from a reservoir with total area less than 1.5 km². 
 Distribution in India Known only from single location
 Distribution elsewhereNIL
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Vulnerable


 Remarks Salmophasia belachi is currently it is known only from one location from a reservoir with total area less than 1.5 km². The species is not exploited by fishing, however, fishing for other species is done in the given area and since the reservoir is very small any anthropogenic activity could be threatening for the species. Since there is no information available on direct threats to the species Salmophasia belachi is assessed as Vulnerable based on restricted distribution and possible threats, as it attains a length of 110 mm and weight of 5.5 g  and not a food fish.



12 Salmophasia boopis Day, 1874
 ClassificationActinopterygii, CypriniformesCyprinidae, Danioninae

Chela boopis Day, 1874

Oxygaster boopis Day, 1874

Salmostoma boopis Day, 1874

 Author & Citation1874 Chela boopis Day, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1873 (3): 708
 Type locality South Canara, India
 Common Name (English)Boopis Razor Bely Minnow
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Malli, Sampaj
 Distribution in KarnatakaDakshina Kannada, Chikkamagalur, Shimoga, Harangi reservoir,
 Distribution in IndiaGoa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu)
 Distribution elsewhereEndemic to Western Ghats of India
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



Salmophasia boopis is endemic to the Western Ghats of India, often found in upper reaches of the rivers and reservoirs. It is not found north of Krishna river system 

Menon, A.G.K., 1999. Check list - fresh water fishes of India. Rec. Zool. Surv. India, Misc. Publ., Occas. Pap. No. 175, 366 p




Salmophasia  clupeoides  Bloch,1795

[= Chela balookee Sykes, 1839]

 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

§  Chela balookee Sykes, 1839

§  Chela clupeoides Bloch, 1795

§  Chela teekanee Sykes, 1839

§  Cyprinus clupeoides Bloch, 1795

§  Leuciscus belookee  Sykes, 1839

 Author & Citation

Heterotypic synonym of Salmophasia balookee (Sykes, 1839)

1839 Chelabalookee, Sykes [W. H.] 1839:160 [Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1838

 Current name    Salmophasia balookee Sykes 1839
 Type locality Deccan India
 Common Name (English)Bloch Razorbelly Minnow
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Orali, Chalake, Chitlus
 Distribution in KarnatakaBengaluru Rural, Davanagere, Cauvery , Krishna and Godavari Rivers
 Distribution in IndiaKarnataka, Tamil Nadu
 Distribution elsewhereNil
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



 Cyprinus cyprinoides, Bloch [M. E.] & Schneider [J. G.] 1801:427 [M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae; India. Evidently a new name for Cyprinus clupeoides Bloch 1795. Synonym (as Clupea cyprinoides Schneider 1801) of Salmostoma clupeoides (Bloch 1795) -- (Menon 1999:27 Synonym of Salmostoma balookee (Sykes 1839).


Salmophasia balookee is found in upper drainage of large rivers (Menon 1999). It is also found in lakes and reservoirs 


Salmophasia balookee is a tasty fish and has minor fishery value (Talwar and Jhingran 1991). Heavy harvesting could be a threat to the species, at least in the northern Western Ghats (N. Dahanukar). Disappearance of this species from Mula-Mutha rivers could also be attributed to heavy harvest which is common in these rivers 



14 Salmophasia horai  Silas,1951
 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes  : Cyprinidae

Chela horai Sailas, 1951

Salmostoma horai  Silas 1951 

 Author & Citation1951 Chela horai Silas, J. Zool. Soc. India, 3(1): 8, Fig. 1
 Current name   Salmophasia horai  Silas 1951.
 Type locality Cauvery River, Coorg, Mysore State, India
 Common Name (English)Hora Razorbelly Minnow
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Malli, Chalake,
 Distribution in KarnatakaKodagu
 Distribution in India Salmophasia horai has been recorded from the headwaters of the Cauvery river basin in Coorg, Karnataka (Jayaram 2010). The records from Adan river of the Godavari river basin in Maharashtra (Heda 2009) and from Punjab (Dua & Prakash 2009).
 Distribution elsewhere 
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Vulnerable



Salmophasia horai is known from and may be restricted only to the head waters of Cauvery in Coorg.

There is no information regarding any use or trade of this species.




15 Salmophasia longicauda (= Salmophasia novacula Valenciennes,1840 )
 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Cyprinus novacula Valenciennes, 1840

Salmostoma longicauda Srithar & Jayaram, 1990

Salmostoma novacula  Valenciennes, 1840

 Author & Citation  1840 Salmostoma longicauda,  Srithar [R. T.] & Jayaram [K. C.] 1990:273, Fig. 2 [Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society v. 87 (pt 2)
 Current statusValid as Salmophasia novacula  Valenciennes 1840. IUCN,2014)
 Type locality Krishna River at Dhom Reservoir, Satara District, Maharashtra, India.
 Common Name (English)Novacula Razor Belly Minnow
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaKrishna and Godavari Drainages
 Distribution in India

Salmophasia novacula is known to occur in Krishna and Godavari drainages in Karnataka and Maharashtra; the Mula and Mutha rivers and Pavana River in Maharashtra and in Tamil Nadu.

Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu

 Distribution elsewhereNIL
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  LeastConcern


 RemarksInhabits upper drainages of rivers, no information on the population status of S. novacula. This species is however known to have become rare in the Krishna and Godavari rivers in Karnataka (Chandrasekhariah et al. 2000).



16                                Salmophasia novacula  Valenciennes,1840
 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Synonyms Salmophasia untrahi (Day,1869)
 Author & Citation1840 Cyprinus novacula Valenciennes in Jacquemont, voyage dans l'Inde pendant les annees 1828 – 1832 :  no p., pl. 15 (fig. 2-2a)
 Current name    Salmostoma untrahi Day 1869.
 Type locality Madras
 Common Name (English)Mahanadi razorbelly minnow
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Chalake
 Distribution in KarnatakaBhadra  and Cauvery River
 Distribution in IndiaKarnataka, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu
 Distribution elsewhereNIL
 Threat CategoryIUCN :                  Least Concern
 Remarks Inhabits upper drainages of rivers and reservoirs


17 Salmophasia untrahi Day,1869
 Classification Actinopterygi Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Chela untrahi Day, 1869

Salmostoma untrahi (Day, 1869)

 Author & Citation 1869 Chela  untrahi,  Day [F.] 1869:381 [Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1869 (pt 2), 
 Current name  Salmostoma untrahi (Day 1869).
 Type locality Salmophasia untrahi was originally described as Chela untrahi by Day (1869) from Mahanuddi (Mahanadi), Orissa, India
 Common Name (English)Mahanadi razorbelly minnow
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Chalake
 Distribution in KarnatakaBhadra  and Cauvery River head waters
 Distribution in India Salmophasia untrahi is known from Mahanadi in Orissa, Cauvery and Coleroon in Tamil Nadu, Eastern Ghats of India, Chhattisgarh, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, Bhadra river in Karnataka  and Solapur in Maharashtra
 Distribution elsewhereNIL
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Least Concern



 Menon (1999) has suggested that the species is restricted to Mahanadi in Orissa but no rationale is provided.

Salmophasia untrahi is found in lower reaches of rivers (Menon 1999). It is also found in lakes (Venkateshwarlu and Somashekar 2005). The species attains a total length of 20 cm (Menon 1999). The life span of the fish is about 1-2 years (Kiran and Puttaiah 2005



18 Chela laubuca  Hamilton – Buchnan, 1822
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Cyprinus laubuca Hamilton –Buchnan, 1822

Laubuca laubuca Hamilton,1822

Perilampus guttatus M'Clellad, 1839

Chela laubuca Gunther, 1868

Perilampus laubuca Day, 1878

 Author & Citation 1822 Cyprinus laubuca, Burn. Ham. Fish. Gang. p. 260.
 Current  name  Laubuka laubuca  Hamilton 1822.
 Type locality No types known
 Common Name (English)Indian Glass Barb
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Barle, Malli
 Distribution in KarnatakaMysore (Nanjanagud), Chamarajanagara districts
 Distribution in India 
 Distribution elsewherePakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malay Peninsula and Indonesia. Reported from Nepal and Indochina 
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Least Concern



Freshwater; brackish; pelagic species inhabits the middle-depth area of streams, ponds and tanks. Occurs in shallow and relatively deep areas of streams, both in still and relatively fast-flowing waters.


Endangered in Bangaldesh due to Habitat loss

Used as an ornamental fish and also as a bait for Channa, Tor and other carnivorous fishes.



19 Chela dadiburjori Menon, 1952
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Synonyms Laubuca dadiburjori Menon,1952
 Author & Citation1952. Laubuca dadiburjori Menon, Records of the Indian Museum, 49: 1
 Current name   Laubuka dadiburjori Menon 1952
 Type locality  Cochin, Kerala, India
 Common Name (English)

Dadio, Burjor's Brilliance


 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Barle, Malli
 Distribution in KarnatakaIt has been recorded in Sita River in Karnataka 
 Distribution in India

Distributed in the Western Ghats from Nagarcoil to Goa

 L. dadiburjori has been collected from drainages in Thiruvananthapuram, (Silas 1958), Meenachil River in Kerala

 Distribution elsewhere Endemic to Western Ghats
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



Laubuca dadiburjori,Danionin known as the Dadio is one of the smallest members of the genus Chela, it is rarely seen in the aquarist hobby but is not entirely unlike the Danio nigrofasciatus in appearance. 


Laubuca dadiburjori is a gold/silver fish with a blue line, it has two colour morphs, one with a distinct blue line, and the other with a dotted blue line. Barbels are not present. Like most Danionins, this fish has a tendency to jump.



20 Esomus barbatus Jerdon, 1849
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Esomus maderaspatensis Day, 1867

Leuciscus barbatus Jerdon, 1849

§  Esomus danrica (non Hamilton, 1822)

§  Esomus maderaspatenis Jerdon, 1849

§  Leuciscus barbatus Jerdon, 1849

§  Nuria danrica (non Hamilton, 1822)

§  Nuria maderaspatenis  Jerdon, 1849

 Author & Citation1849 Leuciscus barbatus Jerdon, Madras Journal of Literature and Science, 15: 322
 Current name  Esomus barbatus  Jerdon 1849
 Type locality Rivers in Mysore and Carnatic, southern India
 Common Name (English)South Indian flying barb
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)·         Meesa-pakke
 Distribution in KarnatakaChikkaballapur,   Kolar (Srinivasapur tank,    Siddalghata, Chintamani,  Kolar)
 Distribution in India Esomus barbatus is endemic to India, where it ranges from the Western Ghats of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It has also been recorded from the Eastern Ghats, Krishna and Godavari Rivers 
 Distribution elsewhereNil
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Least Concern



According to Menon (1999) this is a synonym of E. thermoicos. However, Jayaram (1999; 2010) treated it as a distinct species.

A very common species in wetlands and small ponds and canals.

Esomus barbatus is endemic to India,



21 Esomus danricus Hamilton, 1822
 Classification Actinoptergii :  Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Cyprinus danrica Hamilton, 1822
Cyprinus jogia Hamilton, 1822
Cyprinus sutiha Hamilton, 1822
Esomus danrica grahami  Chaudhuri, 1912
Esomus danricus jabalpurensis Rao & Sharma, 1972
Esomus jogia  Hamilton, 1822
Esomus sutiha Hamilton, 1822
Esomus vittatus Swainson, 1839

Esomus malabaricus Day,1867
Leuciscus vittatus Swainson, 1839
Nuria danrica Hamiton, 1822
Nuria danrica grahami Chaudhuri, 1912
Nuria thermophilos McClelland, 1839
Perilampus recurvirostris McClelland, 1839
Perilampus thermophilus McClelland, 1839

 Author & Citation 1822 Cyprinus danrica,  Hamilton [F.] 1822:325, 390, Pl. 16 (fig. 88) [An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges;  Bengal
 Current name   Esomus danrica  Hamilton 1822
 Type locality Not known
 Common Name (English)None
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Meese – Pakke, Meese
 Distribution in Karnataka Kolar, Belgaum, Bengaluru, Mysore,
 Distribution in IndiaAndhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharastra, Paschima Bengal, Tamil Nadu
 Distribution elsewhereBangladesh; India; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



Adults occur in ponds, weedy ditches and irrigation canals.

 Cyprinus danrica, Hamilton [F.] 1822 Spelled danrua on plate. Species name misspelled dantica by Cuvier 1831:203.

malabaricusEsomus Day [F.] 1867:299 [19] [Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1867 (pt 2); Trichoor, Kerala, India. 

Current status: Synonym of Esomus danrica (Hamilton 1822)



22 Esomus  thermoicos  Valenciennes,1842
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Nuria thermoicos Valenciennes, 1842

Esomus thermoicus  Valenciennes, 1842

Leuciscus barbatus Jerdon, 1849

Esomus danrica thermoicos  Valenciennes, 1842

Cyprinus danricus Hamilton, 1822







 Author & Citation Esomus thermoicos, Kner, Novara, Fisch. p. 363*. Esomus maderaspatensis, Dag, Proc.
 Current name  Esomus thermoicos Valenciennes 1842
 Type locality Esomus thermoicos  Valenciennes 1842  thermal, referring to hot spring type locality in Cania, Sri Lanka, at 40˚C.
 Common Name (English)Flying Barb
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaChamaraja Nagara,  Mysore, Bengaluru, Kanva Reservoir,
 Distribution in IndiaAndhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
 Distribution elsewhereSri Lanka
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Least Concern



The species was originally described from hot springs (Valenciennes 1842). Previous records of its collection from Kerala were from ponds connected to the main river through channels (Thomas et al.1999). It is a pelagic insectivore (Rahul Kumar pers.obs.) found in mid and low stream, canals and wetlands.

It is collected in small quantities for food and aquarium trade.



23 Devario aequipinnatus  McClelland, 1839
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae







Danio aequipinnatus McClelland, 1839

Danio browni (non Regan, 1907)

Danio lineolatus Blyth, 1858

Leuciscus aequipinnatus (McClelland, 1839

Leuciscus lineolatus Blyth, 1858

Perilampus aequipinnatus McClelland, 1839

Brachydanio aequipinnatus Mc Clelland,1839








 Author & Citation 1839 Perilampus  aequipinatus,  McClelland [J.] :393, Pl. 60 (fig. 1) [Asiatic Researches v. 19 (pt 2);Assam, India.
 Current name  Devario aequipinnatus  Mc Clelland, 1839
 Type locality Assam,  India
 Common Name (English)Giant Danio
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Bidaryele-saslu,  Bidrele-saslu
 Distribution in KarnatakaChikkamagaluru (Cauveery and its tributaries) Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Mysore,
 Distribution in IndiaKosi and Krishna River
 Distribution elsewhereIndia, Nepal and Indo-China, Thailand
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



Devario aequipinnatus (Giant Danio) can be kept in community aquariums with small and medium sized inhabitants. Inhabits hill streams up to an elevation of 300 m. Found in shaded, mid-hill clear waters with pebble or gravel substrates 

aequipinnatusPerilampus McClelland [J.] 1839 Valid as Danio aequipinnatus(McClelland 1839)





Devario devario Hamilton,1822


 ClassificationActinopterygii :  CypriniformesCyprinidae

Cyprinus devario Hamilton, 1822

Danio devario  Hamilton, 1822

Devario cyanotaenia (non Bleeker, 1860)

Devario buchanani Bleeker, 1860

Devario macclellandi Bleeker, 1860

Leuciscus devario  Hamilton, 1822

Perilampus devario  Hamilton, 1822

 Author & Citation 1822  Cyprinus devario,  Hamilton [F.] 1822:341, 393, Pl. 6 (fig. 94) [An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges; Edinburgh & London: i-vii + 1-405
 Current name  Devario devario  Hamilton 1822
 Type locality No type specimens are known, but Hamilton does mention that the species is common in 'rivers and ponds of Bengal' in his description so it was certainly described from northeastern India.
 Common Name (English)Bengal  Danio
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaKrishna river,  Godavari river (Bidrelga)
 Distribution in IndiaRivers in Western Ghats, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bangal
 Distribution elsewhereBangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Least Concern


 Remarks Devario devario is a widely distributed species throughout out its range with no major widespread threats. Urgent research is needed to determine population trends. It is currently assessed as Least Concern.




Devario fraseri Hora,1935


 ClassificationActinopterygii : Cypriniformes  : Cyprinidae
 Author & Citation1935 Danio (Danio) fraseri Hora, Rec. Indian Mus., 37(3): 378, fig. 3
 Current name   Devario fraseri  Hora 1935
 Type locality

Devario fraseri was first desribed by Hora and Mukerji (1935) from the Waldevi and Darna rivers, Deolali, Nasik District in Maharashtra, India

(type locality: Deolali, Nasik District, Maharashtra, India)

 Common Name (English)Fraser Danio
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Bidrele Saslu
 Distribution in Karnataka Devario fraseri is endemic to northern Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra 
 Distribution in IndiaGoa, Karnataka, Kerala
 Distribution elsewhereNil
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Vulnerable


 RemarksInhabits rivers, canals, ponds, beels and inundated fields. Feeds on worms, small crustaceans and insects



26 Devario  malabaricus  Jerdon,1849
 Classification Actinoptergii : Cypriniformes  Cyprinidae

Danio aequipinnatus (non McClelland, 1839)

Danio malabaricus  Jerdon, 1849

Danio micronema Bleeker, 1863

Eustira ceylonensis Günther, 1868

Paradanio aurolineatus Day, 1865

Perilampus aurolineatus Day, 1865

Perilampus canarensis Jerdon, 1849

Perilampus ceylonensis Gunther, 1868

Perilampus malabaricus Jerdon, 1849

Perilampus mysoricus Jerdon, 1849

 Author & Citation 1849 Perilampus  malabaricus,  Jerdon [T. C.], 1849 - Madras Journal of Literature and Science 15(1): 139-149 On the fresh-water fishes of southern India
 Current name  Devario malabaricus  Jerdon 1849
 Type locality No types are  known, however from Malabar, Kerala
 Common Name (English)Giant Danio, Malabar Danio, "the bobby fish",
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaBengaluru, Chamaraja Nagara, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Mandya, Kodagu, [Cauvery river system].
 Distribution in IndiaMaharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
 Distribution elsewhereKnown from Peninsular India including Sri Lanka
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern


 Remarks D. malabaricus is a benthopelagic species, found in a variety of habitats from boulder-strewn mountain torrents to small pools in dry zone streams where it feeds on terrestrial insects and detritus. It forms medium sized shoals and prefers flowing water. It spawns in shallow water, among marginal weeds and roots, usually after heavy rains




27 Danio devario  Hamilton, 1822
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae  

Cyprinus devario Hamilton, 1822

Danio devario (Hamilton, 1822)

Devario cyanotaenia (non Bleeker, 1860)

Devario buchanani Bleeker, 1860

Devario macclellandi Bleeker, 1860  

Leuciscus devario Hamilton, 1822

Perilampus devario Hamilton, 1822

 Author & Citation1822 Cyprinus devario,  Hamilton, F., - Edinburgh & London: i-vii + 1-405 An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches.
 Current name   Devario devario  Hamilton 1822
 Type locality No type specimens are known, but Hamilton does mention that the species is common in 'rivers and ponds of Bengal' in his description so it was certainly described from northeastern India.
 Common Name (English)

Bengal Danio

 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaChikkamagaluru, Kodagu,  Mysore, Shimoga, Uttara Kannada,
 Distribution in IndiaAccording to current knowledge it occus throughout much of the Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems in northern India
 Distribution elsewhereNepal, and Bangladesh.
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



Since it naturally occurs in pristine habitats it's intolerant to accumulation of organic pollutants and requires more-or-less spotless water in order to thrive.

This species is relatively common in the aquarium trade and is produced on a commercial basis with a selectively-bred 'short-bodied' variant sometimes marketed as D. sp. 'mini Putao' and an albino form also in the trade.




Danio rerio Hamilton,1822


 ClassificationActinopterygii : Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Brachydanio frankei Meinken, 1963

 Brachydanio rerio  Hamilton, 1822

Cyprinus chapalio Hamilton, 1822

Cyprinus rerio Hamilton, 1822

Danio lineatus Day, 1868 

Perilampus striatus McClelland, 1839

 Author & Citation

1822 Cyprinus rerio,  Hamilton, F., 1822 - Edinburgh & London: i-vii + 1-405, Pls. 1-39.  An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches.

Shrestha (1978) treated it under genus Danio.

 Current name  Danio rerio  Hamilton 1822
 Type locality Hamilton (1822) described Cyprinus rerio from Gangetic provinces.
 Common Name (English)Zebra Danio, Zebra fish
 Vernacular Name (Kannada) 
 Distribution in KarnatakaStreams in Belagavi and Goa border, Tunga river in Sringeri, Achakanni Falls–Hosanagara in the Tributary of Sharavathi; Kattinahole–Thalaneri village. Hemavathi & Yagachi rivers (Chikkamagaluru & Hassana),
 Distribution in IndiaArunachal Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Goa, Meghalaya, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
 Distribution elsewhereBangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



Danio rerio is very widely distributed species with a few populations threatened from overexploitation for ornamental fisheries.

This species is very peaceful indeed making it an ideal resident of the well-furnished community tank.

Fishes are having five uniformly, pigmented, horizontal stripes on the side of the body, all extending onto the end of caudal fin rays. Anal fin distinctively striped. Lateral line absent. Rostral barbels extend to anterior margin of orbit; maxillary barbels end at about middle of opercle. 



29 Rasbora  caverii  Jerdon,1849
 Classification Actinoptergii : Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

1849. Leuciscus caverii Jerdon,  1849

1937. Rasbora caverii, Hora

1981. Rasbora caverii, Jayaram 

 Author & Citation1849. Leuciscus caverii Jerdon, Madras J. Lit. and Sci.,15 : 320
 Current name  Rasbora caverii   Jerdon 1849
 Type locality Rasbora caverii was originally described as Leuciscus caverii by Jerdon (1849) from Kaveri River at Srirangapattana, India. In another place, given as Cauvery river, Coorg as the type locality.
 Common Name (English)

Cauvery rasbora


 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Saslu
 Distribution in KarnatakaMysore, Mandya, Hassan, Chikkamagalur, Tumkur, Bengaluru, Kolar, Dakshina Kannada, especially Cauvery river basin.
 Distribution in IndiaKarnataka, Kerala, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu
 Distribution elsewhereSri Lanka.
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic, tropical found in small lowland forest streams and pools, large rivers and some estuarine waters. Also found in mountain streams.


Occurs sympatrically with R. daniconius Found in small lowland forest streams and pools, large rivers and some estuarine waters.

Endemic to Western Ghats



30 Rasbora  daniconius  Hamilton,1822
 Classification Actinoptergii CypriniformesCyprinidae

Cyprinus anjana Hamilton, 1822

Cyprinus daniconius Hamilton, 1822

Leuciscus lateralis McClelland, 1839

Parluciosoma daniconius Hamilton, 1822

Rasbora neilgherriensis Day, 1867

Rasbora palustris Smith, 1945

Rasbora woolaree Day, 1867

Rasbora zanzibarensis Günther, 1867

 Author & Citation 1822 Cyprinus daniconius, Ham. Buck.1822,  Fish. Gang. p. 46. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges; Southern Bengal, India.
 Current name  Rasbora daniconius  Hamilton 1822
 Type locality  No types known.
 Common Name (English)Slender Barb, Blackline Rasbora, Common Rasbora, Slender Rasbora, Striped Rasbora
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Neddean Jabbu, Vaina Paruva, Pattai Kunju, Kolaonjan Kenda, Kolkane, Ogari, Golai
 Distribution in KarnatakaBengaluru, Chikkamagalur, Chamaraja Nagara , Dakshina Kannada, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Kodagu,  Mysore, Hassan, Mandya,  Cauvery and Kabini rivers,
 Distribution in IndiaThroughout India
 Distribution elsewhereBangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Viet Nam.
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern


 Remarks R. daniconius is a benthopelagic and potamodromous species. It occurs in a variety of habitats: ditches, ponds, canals, streams, rivers and inundated fields, but is primarily found in sandy streams and rivers. It is also found in brackish waters. It sometimes forms large schools.




31 Rasbora labiosa Mukerji, 1935
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Synonyms Parluciosoma labiosa  Mukerji, 1935
 Author & Citation1935. Rasbora labiosa Mukerji, in Hora & Mukerji, Rec. Indian Mus., 37(3): 376, figs. 1, 2a
 Current name  Rasbora labiosa Mukerji 1935.
 Type locality Deolali, Nasik District, Maharashtra State, India
 Common Name (English)Slender rasbora
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Kolkane
 Distribution in KarnatakaMandya, Hassan, Mysore, Bengaluru
 Distribution in IndiaGujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra
 Distribution elsewhere Rasbora labiosa is endemic to the Western Ghats of India
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern


 Remarks Rasbora labiosa Mukerji, 1935 was first described from Darna river in upper Godavari river basin, Deolali, Nasik District, Maharashtra State, India (Hora and Mukerji 1935). The species is valid as Parluciosoma labiosa in Talwar and Jhingran (1991) and Menon (1999), while it is valid as Rasbora labiosa in Jayaram (1999).


32 Rasbora rasbora   Hamilton,1822
 Classification Actinoptergii CypriniformesCyprinidae
 Synonyms Cyprinus rasbora Hamilton, 1822
 Author & Citation rasboraCyprinus Hamilton [F.] 1822:329, 391, Pl. 2 (fig. 90) [An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges, Bengal, India.               
 Current name  Rasbora rasbora Hamilton 1822
 Type locality No types known
 Common Name (English)

Gangetic Scissortail Rasbora


 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaDakshina  Kannada
 Distribution in IndiaBrahmaputra river basin in northeastern India 
 Distribution elsewherePakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand 
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern

W.P. A.                 Schedule - V


This species is rarely seen in the trade and little has been written regarding its captive care. It's possible that several colour forms may exist depending on collection locality.

Rasboras inhabit streams and other water courses characterized principally by low mineral content and high concentration of humic acids, similar to one found in waterlogged forests.

Menon, A.G.K., 1999. Check list - fresh water fishes of India. Rec. Zool. Surv. India, Misc. Publ., Occas. Pap. No. 175, 366 p.



33 Amblyceps mangois Hamilton,1822
 Classification Actinopterigii : Cypriniformes : Cypriniidae


Pimelodus mangois Hamilton, 1822

Pimelodus indicus Mc Clelland, 1842

 Current name  Amblyceps mangois  Hamilton 1822
 Author & Citation 1822 Pimelodus  mangois,  Hamilton [F.]:199, 379 [An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges]
 Type locality Amblyceps mangois is described from the Kosi River in northern Bihar, India, a tributary of the Ganges River (Hamilton, 1822).
 Common name (English)Indian Torrent Catfish
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaKrishna, Tungabhadra river
 Distribution in IndiaArunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
 Distribution elsewhereThis species is known throughout the Ganges and Brahmaputra River drainages in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
 Threat category

IUCN                         Least Concern 


`RemarksThis species inhabits torrential streams and rivers with a substrate of rocks and pebbles, spending most of its time amongst the crevices.  It is also said to be able to survive the drying up of the streams and living in pool-type habitats (Prasad et al. 1997).Amblyceps mangois is capable of breathing air (Singh et al. 1989), which is what enables it to survive the lower oxygen content of the pool-type habitats




Amblypharyngodon melettinus Valenciennes, 1844


 Classification Actinopterigii : Cypriniformes : Cypriniidae

Amblypharyngodon chakaiensis Babu Rao & Nair, 1978

Amblypharyngodon grandisquamis Jordan & Starks, 1917

Brachygramma jerdonii Day, 1865

Leuciscus melettina Valenciennes, 1844

Rhodeus indicus Jerdon, 1849

 Current name  Amblypharyngodon melettinus  Valenciennes 1844
 Author & Citation1844  Leuciscus  melettina, Valenciennes [A.] in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1844:304, Pl. 501 [Histoire naturelle des poissons v. 17
 Type localityMumbai, India
 Common name (English)Silver Carplet, Attentive Carplet
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Eenapu Pakke (Tulu)
 Distribution in KarnatakaCoastal water bodies of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada
 Distribution in IndiaKarnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
 Distribution elsewhereEndemic to Peninsular India
 Threat category

IUCN                         Least Concern



What was formerly considered as a distinct species, Amblypharyngodon chakaiensis Babu Rao & Nair 1978, is now a synonym of Amblypharyngodon melettinus (Eschmeyer 2010).

It is very common in lowland coastal water bodies. The species is known to inhabit ponds, slow flowing streams, canals, wetlands and paddy fields.

The species is fished for human consumption, in many parts of range and are often cultured in tanks and ponds along with other economically important species.



Amblypharyngodon  microlepis Bleeker,1853


 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Leuciscus microlepis Bleeker, 1853

Leuciscus pellucidus Mc Clelland,1839

 Author & Citation 1853 Leuciscus  microlepis,  Bleeker, Nalezingen op de ichthyologische fauna van Bengalen et Hindoston. Verhandelingen vsn het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wettenschappen, v. 25 : 1-164, pls. 1-6.
 Current name  Amblypharyngodon microlepis  Bleeker 1853
 Type locality No types known
 Common Name (English)Indian Carplet, Carplet
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Enapu Pakke
 Distribution in KarnatakaBengaluru, Kolara
 Distribution in IndiaUttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala 
 Distribution elsewhereBangladesh
 Threat Category

IUCN :                  Least Concern


 RemarksIt is a benthopelagic species, found in ponds, ditches and slow moving streams Food fish, rarely used in aquarium trade



36 Amblypharyngodon mola Hamilton,1822
 Classification Actinoptergii : Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Amblypharyngodon gadigarhi Malhotra & Singh Dutta, 1975

Amblypharyngodon pellucidus McClelland, 1839

Amblypharyngodon saranensis Chaudhuri, 1912 

Cyprinus mola Hamilton, 1822 

Leuciscus pellucidus McClelland, 1839

Mola buchanani Blyth, 1860

 Author & Citation

1822 Amblypharyngodon gadigarhi,  Malhotra [Y. R.] & Singh Dutta 1975:154, Fig. 1 Gadigarh, Jammu, India; cited by Talwar & Jhingran 1991:338 as appearing in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. India, v. 45 (B) (3) but does not appear there. Now synonimysed as Amblypharyngodon mola Hamilton,1822

Cyprinus mola Hamilton-Buchnann, 1822.  Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1869 :

 Current name  Amblypharyngodon mola  Hamilton 1822
 Type locality Type by being a replacement name. Apparently appeared first in key, without species.
 Common Name (English)Mola Carplet
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Enapu  Enapu-Pakke
 Distribution in KarnatakaLakes in Bangaluru, Cauvery & Western Ghats Rivers; Krishna & Godavari river system + Shimoga, Bheema river in Gulbarga Dist.
 Distribution in IndiaKerala, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra,
 Distribution elsewhere 
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern

W.P. A.                 Schedule - V


Not only play an important role in diet as food, but also adds Calcium and Vitamin- A for nourishment.

Successfully can be cultured with carps as a polyculture in small ponds. The success of culturing is due to Omnivorous nature with a penchant for plant matter.

According to Menon the species is found in a range of habitats from ponds and streams to paddy fields. Like its relatives, this needs to be kept in a plant-free aquarium, furnished with smooth boulders and plenty of free swimming space. A small group could be kept in a 150cm aquarium alongside some other medium to large fishes.




37 Ctenopharyngodon idella Valenciennes,1844
 Classification Actinopterigii : Cypriniformes : Cypriniidae

Ctenopharingodon idellus (Valenciennes, 1844

Ctenopharyngodon laticeps Steindachner, 1866

Leuciscus idella Valenciennes, 1844

Leuciscus tschiliensis Basilewsky, 1855

Pristiodon siemionovii Dybowski, 1877

Sarcocheilichthys teretiusculus Kner, 1867


 Current name  Ctenopharyngodon idella  Valenciennes 1844
 Author & Citation 1844 Leuciscus  idella,  Valenciennes [A.] in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1844:362 [Histoire naturelle des poissons v. 17]
 Type localityChina
 Common name (English)Grass carp,
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaMandya, Krishna River,
 Distribution in IndiaCultured throughout Indian
 Distribution elsewhereBangladesh, China, Taiwan Province of China, Islamic Republic of Iran, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Russian Federation) where it is cultured more than 1000 tons, Several other countries has introduced
 Threat category

IUCN                         Least Concern



The grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) is a herbivorousfreshwater fish species occurs in lakes, ponds, pools, and backwaters of large rivers, preferring large, slow-flowing or standing water bodies with vegetation. 

Adults of the species feed primarily on aquatic plants. They feed on higher aquatic plants and submerged terrestrial vegetation, but may also take detritus,  insects, and otherinvertebrates.

The species was introduced in the Netherlands in 1973, New Zealand recently  for overabundant aquatic weed control

In Mandya used for controlling spent wash from Sugar mill and distillery.




38 Thynnichthys sandkhol  Sykes, 1839
 Classification Actinopterigii : Cypriniformes : Cypriniidae

Leuciscus sandkhol Sykes, 1839


 Current name  Thynnichthys sandkhol   Sykes 1839
 Author & Citation 1839 Leuciscus  sandkhol,  Sykes [W. H.] 1839:161 [Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1838 (pt 6)
 Type localityGoreh [Gorah] River at Kullumb, Deccan, India
 Common name (English)Sandkol Carp
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in Karnataka Godavari, Krishna  & Tungabhadra rivers in  Karnataka   
 Distribution in IndiaAndhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra
 Distribution elsewhereEndemic to Peninsular India
 Threat category

IUCN                         Endangered 




It is believed to be almost extinct in the Krishna river of Karnataka (Chandrasekhariah et al. 2004).  The population is declining in the Godavari River system.

Thynnichthys sandkhol is a column-cum-surface feeder and is planktophagus. The fish attains sexual maturity in first year at 30cm in length and 500g in weight. It is a monsoon breeder and breeds only once a year (Mohanta et al. 2008). They have also been introduced to various reservoirs in the region 




Cyprinus  carpio  communis  Linnaeus,1758


 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae : Cyprininae

Cyprinus cirrosus  Schaeffer, 1760

Cyprinus viri-violaceus Lacepède, 1803,

Cyprinus vittatus  Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1842

Cyprinus conirostris Schelegel, 1842,

Cyprinus acuminatus Richardson, 1846,

Cyprinus melanotus  Schelegel, 1846

Carpio vulgaris  Rapp, 1854

Cyprinus chinensis  Basilewsky, 1855

Carpio flavipinna  Bleeker, 1863

Cyprinus tossicole  Elera, 1895

 Author & Citation

Linnaeus, C. (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio decima, reformata.. ii, 824 pp., 

According to Catalogue of Fishes : Linnaeus did not describe a communis referable to Cyprinus so we are listing authorship as anonymous for now.

Synonym of Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus 1758, but a vaild subspecies communis 

 Current name  Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus 1758.
 Type locality Not available
 Common Name (English)Common Carp
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaBengaluru, Kolar,   Hassan,  Kodagu ( Harangi Reservoir),   Introduced into India in 1939
 Distribution in IndiaThroughout India
 Distribution elsewhere

Afghanistan; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Georgia; Germany; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Moldova; Pakistan; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Tajikistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan


 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Vulnerable



A typical female can lay over a million eggs in one breeding season.  

By gulping air at the surface, the carp is able to tolerate periods when oxygen levels in the water fall.

In winter, individuals go into deeper waters which tends to be somewhat warmer than shallow water.

Two sub species viz., Cyprinus carpio carpio Linnaeus, 1758 and Cyprinus carpio communis Linnaeus, 1758 has been identified in the country, of the two the former is distributed in Karnataka.

Hybridization between common carp and an Indian major carp was first attempted by Alikunhi and Chaudhuri (1959) by crossing male common carp with female rohu. Since then two more intergeneric hybrids viz., Cirrhinus mrigala female x Cyprinus carpio communis male (Kowtal and Gupta, 1984) and C. carpio communis female x Labeo rohita male (Khan et al., 1986) have been produced. However, in 1986 another intergeneric hybrid between female common carp and male mrigal was produced for the first time. The salient features of the embryonic and larval development and morphometry of this new intergeneric hybrid are described in the present communication.




40 Cyprinus carpio specularis  Lacepede,1803
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Author & Citation 1803 Cyprinus carpio specularis  Lacepède [B. G. E.] 1803  Histoire naturelle des poisons, 489, 528 
 Current nameAccording to Catalogue of Fishes : Cyprinus caripio specularis Lacepede,1803 valid as Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus,1758
 Type locality Europe
 Common Name (English)Mirror Cap
 Vernacular Name (Kannada) 
 Distribution in KarnatakaBengaluru (Introduced in India in 1939)
 Distribution in IndiaIntroduced in many parts of the country
 Distribution elsewhere 
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern



Usually a freshwater species, occasionally found near coastal water in very low salinity.

A gregarious fish living at the bottom of the pond, omnivorous feeding on the larvae of worms, insects, and molluscs and also on stalks and leaves of submerged plants and occasionally on zooplankton.

Common carp has been a popular aquaculture fish for more than 2,000 years (FAO 2010).

According to Jingran, there are many varieties or strains of this fish distributed in several parts of the country

Carp tend to reduce macrophyte biomass in three ways; 1) Bioturbation- Carp often uproot aquatic macrophytes when feeding, 2) Direct Consumption- Carp have been known to feed on tubers and young shoots, 3) Indirectly by increasing turbidity which in turn limits the available sunlight (Lougheed et al. 1997, Fletcher et al. 1985). Carp tend to reduce macrophyte biomass in three ways; 1) Bioturbation- Carp often uproot aquatic macrophytes when feeding, 2) Direct Consumption- Carp have been known to feed on tubers and young shoots, 3) Indirectly by increasing turbidity which in turn limits the available sunlight (Lougheed et al. 1997, Fletcher et al. 1985). Carp tend to reduce macrophyte biomass in three ways; 1) Bioturbation- Carp often uproot aquatic macrophytes when feeding, 2) Direct Consumption- Carp have been known to feed on tubers and young shoots, 3) Indirectly by increasing turbidity which in turn limits the available sunlight (Lougheed et al. 1997, Fletcher et al. 1985).



41 Tor  khudree  Sykes,1839
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae

Barbus khudree Sykes, 1839

Tor khudree subspecies malabaricus Jerdon, 1849

Tor khudree malabaricus Jerdon, 1849

Tor kulkarnii (non Menon, 1992)

Barbus longispinis Günther, 1868

Barbus khudree malabaricus Jerdon, 1849

Puntius khudree Sykes, 1839

Barbus khudree Sykes, 1839

Barbus neilli Day, 1869

Tor mosal mahanadicus (non David, 1953)

Tor khudree longispinnis Günther, 1868









 Author & Citation1839 Tor khudree  Sykes, W. H.   1839 (May) On the fishes of the Deccan. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1838 (pt 6): 157-165. 
 Current name  Tor khudree  Sykes 1839
 Type locality Tor khudree was described by Sykes (1839) as Barbus khudree from Mula Mutha river in Pune, India.
 Common Name (English)Deccan Mahseer
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)None
 Distribution in KarnatakaKodagu, Shimoga ( Especially Hillstreams)
 Distribution in Indiamajor rivers and reservoirs of central and peninsular India (Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala)
 Distribution elsewhereSri Lanka
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Endangered



T. khudree is a mesopelagic species, preferring cool, fast-flowing, rocky streams, but also occurs in rivers, tanks, reservoirs and cold-water lakes. Inhabits cool, fast flowing, rocky streams and rivers. Occurs in mountain lakes. Moves to upper reaches of small streams to spawn. Feeds on plants, insects, shrimps and mollusks. Can be cultured in ponds and lakes. Regarded to be of medicinal value.

Tor kudree malabaricus (Kulkarni 1980) reported from Malabar, Kerala, was subsequently treated as a synonym of T. khudree by Menon (1999).

The Department of Fisheries (Karnataka) have been involved in large scale captive breeding and stock enhancement of T. khudree in the rivers and reservoirs of Maharashtra and Karnataka. The College of Fisheries at Mangalore, Karnataka has perfected the cryopreservation techniques for T. khudree. There are many temple sanctuaries in Karnataka (Sringeri, Chippalgude, Sishila) where T. khudree are protected from exploitation.




Tor malabaricus Jerdon,1849


 ClassificationActinopterygii : Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Synonyms Barbus malabaricus Jerdon, 1849
 Author & Citation 1849 Barbus malabaricus, Jerdon, Mad. Jour. L. S. xv, 1849, p. 312; Day, Fish. India, p. 569, pi. exxxviii, fig. 6. B. iii. D. 12-13 (3-4/9). P. 17. V. 9. A. 8 (3/5). C. 19. L. 1
 Current name  Tor malabaricus  Jerdon 1849
 Type locality Mountain streams of Malabar
 Common Name (English)Malabar Mahseer
 Vernacular Name (Kannada) 
 Distribution in KarnatakaCauvery river system; other records include Netravathi (Anekal and Tingale), Tunga (Ganapathykatte, Sringeri and Suliya) 
 Distribution in India

Tor malabaricus was described by Jerdon (1849) as Barbus malabaricus from the mountain streams of Malabar India. Menon (1992) synonymised this species with Tor khudree while Indra (1993) considered it as a valid sub species. Recent genetic work has confirmed the validity of T. malabaricus as a seperate species using RAPD technique (Silas et al. 2005), and mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences.

M. Arunachalam (2000) suspects all Tor khudree recorded from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are T. malabaricus, except for three populations in Chalakkudy, Cauvery and Krishna basins

Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu

 Distribution elsewhereNIL
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Endangered


 RemarksThere is no information on the use of T. malabaricus either for food or for non consumptive purposes, but it is reasonable to believe that like all other Mahseer species, they are also harvested as food fish





43 Tor neilli  Day, 1869
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Synonyms Barbus neilli Day [F.] 1869
 Author & Citation 1869 Barbus  neilli,  Day [F.] 1869:581 [Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1868 (pt 3)]
 Type locality Thungabhadra River at Kurnool, southern India
 Current name   Tor khudree  Sykes 1839
 Common Name (English)Mahseer
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Bili Meenu
 Distribution in KarnatakaNagarahole NP, Cauvery, Krishna and Tungabhadra river systems in Western Ghats
 Distribution in IndiaSouthern India
 Distribution elsewhereAfrica, Asia and Australia
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern

W.P. A.                 Schedule - V





Osteobrama backeri Day,1873


 ClassificationActinopterygii : Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Synonyms Rohtee bakeri Day, 1873
 Author & Citation1873  Rohtee bakeri Day, Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, (1): 240
 Current name  Osteobrama bakeri  Day 1873
 Type locality Osteobrama bakeri was first described by Day (1873) from Mundakayam, Kottayam, Kerala, India (type locality: Cottayam [Kottayam], Kerala State, India)
 Common Name (English)

Malabar osteobrama

 Vernacular Name (Kannada)


 Distribution in KarnatakaAghanashini River in Uttara Kannada
 Distribution in India


Osteobrama bakeri is widely distributed in the west flowing rivers within Kerala part of the Western Ghats.  Known from the rivers Chaliyar ; Periyar ; Chalakudy, Karuvannur, Muvattupuzha, Meenachil, Manimala, Chandragiri, Bharathapuzha, Pamba and Kallada

Karnataka, Kerala

 Distribution elsewhereEndemic to S Western Ghats
 Threat Category

IUCN :                   Least Concern


 Remarks Osteobrama bakeri is endemic to the southern Western Ghats (Ponniah and Gopalakrishnan 2000; Dahanukar et al. 2004).  Inhabits low land areas of major rivers with sand, mud and detritus as major substrates (Biju 2005, Thomas 2004). It is an omnivore feeding mainly on micro invertebrates and algae.




45 Osteobrama cotio peninsularis  Silas,1952
 Classification Actinoptergii Cypriniformes : Cyprinidae
 Synonyms Rohtee cotio cunma (non Day, 1888)
 Author & Citation1952. Osteobrama cotio var. peninsularis Silas, Proceedings of the National Institute of Sciences of India, 18(5): 433
 Current name  Osteobrama vigorsii  Sykes 1839
 Type locality Osteobrama cotio peninsularis was described by Silas (1952) from Pune, Maharashtra. 
 Common Name (English)Peninsular osteobrama
 Vernacular Name (Kannada)Kambalgi
 Distribution in KarnatakaThunga-Bhadra River system, and  Rivers in Chikkamagaluru
 Distribution in IndiaAndhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharastra, Orissa
 Distribution elsewhere 
 Threat CategoryIUCN :                   Data Deficient

Merged now with  Osteobrama vigorsii (Sykes, 1839)

The species has been found in freshwater rivers, ponds and lakes in lower foothill areas and is of minor fishery value.


ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ವಿಷಯಗಳ ಸ್ವತ್ತು ಮತ್ತು ನಿರ್ವಹಣೆ : ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಜೀವವೈವಿಧ್ಯ ಮಂಡಳಿ, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸರ್ಕಾರ

ಹಕ್ಕುತ್ಯಾಗ : ಈ ಪುಟವು ಸರ್ಕಾರಿ ಸಚಿವಾಲಯ/ ಇಲಾಖೆ/ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳಿಗೂ ಲಿಂಕುಗಳನ್ನು ಕಲ್ಪಿಸುತ್ತದೆ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ದಯವಿಟ್ಟು ಗಮನಿಸಿ. ಈ ವೆಬ್ ಸೈಟುಗಳ ವಿಷಯಗಳು ಆಯಾ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳ ಸ್ವತ್ತೇ ಆಗಿದ್ದು, ಯಾವುದೇ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಅಥವಾ ಸಲಹೆಗಾಗಿ ಅವರನ್ನೇ ಸಂಪರ್ಕಿಸುವುದು.

ವಿನ್ಯಾಸ ಮತ್ತು ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿ : ಇ-ಆಡಳಿತ ಕೇಂದ್ರ, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸರ್ಕಾರ

(C) 2016, ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಹಕ್ಕುಗಳೂ ಕಾಯ್ದಿರಿಸಿವೆ

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