Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfishes)
Family: Schilbeidae (Schilbid catfishes)
Species: C. garua
Silurus garua (Hamilton, 1822)
Schilbeichthys garua (Hamilton, 1822)
Clupisoma argentata (Swainson, 1839)
Silurus argentata (Swainson, 1839).
Common/local names: Garua Bachcha (fishbase); Guarchacha (English); Bangladesh: Ghaira, Gang ghaira and Ghaura (Galib, 2008; Rahman, 1989); India: Kocha, Neria, Garua, Puttoshi, Gaurcha, Ghero, Bachawa, Gharua, Buchua, Chelle, Gajari, Punia-cathua (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).
Distribution: Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Myanmar and Nepal (Bhuiyan, 1964).
Conservation status: Critically endangered in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).
Morphology: Body elongated and laterally compressed. Eye with board adipose lids. Mouth moderate and sub-terminal. Upper jaw longer than lower jaw. Barbel present and 4 pairs. Wide gill opening. Dorsal spine slender and comparatively weak than pectoral. It also shorter than head and serrated posteriorly. No adipose fin in adult.
Body dark on back and whitish or silvery at the sides and abdomen. Head 21.1% SL and 18.2% TL. Height 23.7% SL and 20.5% TL. Eye 27.5% HL (Galib, 2008). Lateral line present but not so conspicuous.
Fin formula: D. 1/7; P1. 1/11; P2. 6; A. 3/27-30 (Rahman, 1989).
Habitat and niche: Commonly found in freshwater bodies. Niche is bottom layer of water body. Recorded in Chalan Beel of Bangladesh (Galib et al., 2009).
Food and feeding: Bottom dweller fish species and feeds on molluscs, insects, small fishes and decaying matter (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991; Rahman, 1989). Algal matters also found in their stomach (Bhuiyan, 1964).
Breeding: Breeding time is March-August and this time they move in shoals and breeds in shallow water. According to Bhuiyan (1964), spawning temperature is from 15.60C- 200C.
Importance: Used as food fish and it’s flesh contains 5.2% fat and 74.2% water (Bhuiyan, 1964).
Marketing status: Used as food fish in Bangladesh. Consumers do not prefer this fish because of its feeding habit. Consumer believed that this fish takes human excreta as food (Galib, 2008). Similar comments were made by Rahman (2005).
Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, p. 71.
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.
Galib SM. 2008. A Study on Fish Diversity and Fishing Gears of Chalan Beel with Reference to Preservation of Catches, Honors dissertation submitted to the Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, 172 pp.
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.
IUCN Bangladesh. 2000. Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh, IUCN- The world conservation union. xii+116 pp.
Rahman AKA. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, p. 185.
Rahman AKA. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. xviii -263.
Swainson W. 1839. The natural history and classification of fishes, amphibians, & reptiles, or monocardian animals. Spottiswoode & Co., London. Nat. Hist. & Class. i-vi + 1-448.
Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran, 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. II, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 596-597.
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