Category: Fishes | Resource | Threatened fishes

Olive barb, Puntius sarana (Hamilton, 1822)

Olive barb: Puntius sarana

Olive barb: Puntius sarana

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cypriniformes (Carps)
Superfamily: Cyprinoidea
Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps)
Subfamily: Barbinae
Genus: Puntius
Species: P. sarana

Common/local names
English: Olive barb
Bangladesh: Sarputi (সরপুটি), Sarna puti (স্বর্ণাপুটি), Saral puti (সরল পুটি), Deshi sarputi (দেশী পুটি) and Kurti (কুর্তি)
India: Sennee, Ngabon, Sani-putthi and Maraputthi (Assam); Sarana, Saval-puti, Swarna-puti and Kurti (West Bengal); Giddi-kaoli, Durhie, Potah and Pothi (Bihar and Uttar Pradesh); Kharni, Bhangan, Kuhne and Puthia (Punjab) (Talwar and Jhingra, 1991).

Distributions: Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, India (throughout except peninsular India south of Krishna river), Nepal and Pakistan (Talwar and Jhingra, 1991).

Conservation status: Critically Endangered in Bangladesh due to overfishing and introduction of Thai barb (Barbonymus gonionotus) (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000). Global conservation status is Least Concern (Dahanukar, 2010).

Barbodes sarana (Hamilton, 1822)
Barbodes sarana sarana (Hamilton, 1822)
Barbodes sarana subnasutus (Valenciennes, 1842)
Barbus binduchitra Hora, 1937
Barbus chrysopoma Valenciennes, 1842
Barbus diliciosus McClelland, 1839
Barbus duvaucelii Valenciennes, 1842
Barbus gardonides Valenciennes, 1842
Barbus gibbosus Valenciennes, 1842
Barbus kakus Valenciennes, 1842
Barbus pinnauratus (Day, 1865)
Barbus polydori Valenciennes, 1842
Barbus roseipinnis Valenciennes, 1842
Barbus russellii Günther, 1868
Barbus sarana (Hamilton, 1822)
Barbus subnasutus Valenciennes, 1842
Cyclocheilichthys pinnauratus Day, 1865
Cyprinus sarana Hamilton, 1822
Puntius chrysopoma (Valenciennes, 1842)
Puntius pinnauratus (Day, 1865)
Puntius roseipinnis (Valenciennes, 1842)
Puntius saberi Datta & Karmakar, 1981
Puntius sarana sarana (Hamilton, 1822)
Puntius sarana spilurus (Günther, 1868)
Puntius sarana subnasutus (Valenciennes, 1842)
Puntius subnasutus (Valenciennes, 1842)
Systomus chrysopoma (Valenciennes, 1842)
Systomus chrysopomus (Valenciennes, 1842)
Systomus immaculatus McClelland, 1839
Systomus sarana (Hamilton, 1822)

Morphology: Body elongate and laterally compressed with small head. Head is 4-4.7 times in standard length (Talwar and Jhingra, 1991). Mouth and eyes are moderate. Two pairs of barbels, maxillary and rostral; of which maxillary barbels are longer than rostral. Scales medium and lateral line complete. 32-34 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005); 30-33 (Talwar and Jhingra, 1991) scales on lateral line.

Body color olive on back and flanks silvery with golden reflections. Checks golden. Reddish-brown barbels. Fins are dusky brown to orange. A dull blotch on lateral line before caudal base (Talwar and Jhingra, 1991).

Fin formula:
D. 3/8; A. 3/5; P. 15; V. 19 (Bhuiyan, 1964; Shafi and Quddus, 2001)
D. 3/8; P1. 15; P2. 9; A. 3/5 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; IUCN Bangladesh, 2000)
D iii-iv 8; A iii 5; P i 14-16; V i 8 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum lengths and weights: 21 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964), 42 cm and 1.4 kg (Rahman, 1989 and 2005), 31 cm (Talwar and Jhingra, 1991), 30 cm (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000) and up to 60 cm (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Habitats: Rivers, lakes, beels and other freshwater bodies of Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Inhibits plains, widely distributed in rivers and tanks of India (Talwar and Jhingra, 1991). Found in inundated rice and jute fields during rainy season (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). In baors (oxbow lakes), it takes shelter in areas with aquatic vegetation during winter season (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Recorded from the Chalan Beel (Galib et al., 2009 and 2010) and the Padma river (Samad et al., 2010) of Bangladesh.

Spawning: Prolific breeder and breeds during monsoon season (Bhuiyan, 1964). It spawns in shallow water in July to August and hatching of eggs take place about 20 hours between 780F and 820F water temperature (Bhuiyan, 1964).

Food and feeding: Ominivorous (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000). Takes algae, unicellular and single celled animals, larvae of aquatic insects and sands (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). Also takes fish (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Fishery info: Used as food fish in Bangladesh. Caught by casting, bamboo traps and long weighted nets, also good sport on rod and line (Bhuiyan, 1964).



Bhuiyan AL (1964) Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 33-35.

Cuvier G and Valenciennes A (1842) Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome seizième. Livre dix-huitième. Les Cyprinoïdes. Histoire naturelle des poissons. 16: i-xx + 1-472, Pls. 456-487.

Dahanukar N (2010) Systomus sarana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T166567A6237905. Downloaded on 27 January 2016.

Datta AK and Karmakar AK (1981) On a new species of Puntius (family: Cyprinidae) from Bastar District, Madhya Pradesh. Bulletin of the Zoological Survey of India 3(3): 179-183.

Day F (1865) On the fishes of Cochin, on the Malabar Coast of India. Part II. Anacanthini. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1865 (pt 1): 286-318.

Galib SM, Samad MA, Hossain MA, Mohsin ABM and Haque SMM (2010) Small Indigenous Species of Fishes (SISF) in Chalan Beel with Reference to their Harvesting and Marketing, Bangladesh Journal of Progressive Science and Technology, 8(2): 251-254.

Galib SM, Samad MA, Mohsin ABM, Flowra FA and Alam MT. 2009 Present Status of Fishes in the Chalan Beel- the Largest Beel (Wetland) of Bangladesh, Int. J. Ani. Fish. Sci. 2(3):214-218.

Günther A (1868) Catalogue of the fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the Physostomi, containing the families Heteropygii, Cyprinidae, Gonorhynchidae, Hyodontidae, Osteoglossidae, Clupeidae,… [thru]… Halosauridae, in the collection of the British Museum. Catalogue of the fishes in the British Museum. 7: i-xx + 1-512.

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

Hora SL (1937) Notes on fishes in the Indian Museum. XXXI. On a small collection of fish from Sandoway, Lower Burma. Records of the Indian Museum (Calcutta) 39(4): 323-331.

IUCN Bangladesh (2000) Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh, IUCN- The world conservation union. xii+116 pp.

McClelland J (1839) Indian Cyprinidae. Asiatic Researches 19(2): 217-471, Pls. 37-61.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 126-128.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 145-146.

Samad MA, Asaduzzaman M, Galib SM, Kamal MM and Haque MR (2010) Availability and Consumer Preference of Small Indigenous Species (SIS) of the River Padma at Rajshahi, Bangladesh, International Journal of BioResearch 1(5): 27-31.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA (2001) Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 120-121.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 1, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 283-284.


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Shams works in freshwater ecosystems, primarily on fish diversity in terms of their availability, and richness; he is also interested in aquatic invasive species and their impacts on ecosystem. Email: [email protected] More...

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