Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfishes)
Family: Schilbeidae (Schilbid catfishes)
Species: E. vacha
Bagrus vacha (Hamilton, 1822)
Pachypterus punctatus Swainson, 1839
Pimelodus vacha Hamilton, 1822
English: Batchwa vacha
Bangladesh: Bacha (বাচা)
India: Vacha, Bacha, Kangon, Tunti, Bhacha, Katla, Caingun, Bachawa, Sugwabachoya, Neecuch, Banjhoo, Dhuan, Jhalbi, Baiki, Dungi, Batchua and Nandi-butchua (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).
Distribution: Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Myanmar and Thailand (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Bangladesh, India and Pakistan (Bhuiyan, 1964).
Conservation status: Critically endangered in Bangladesh due to habitat loss (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).
Morphology: Body elongated and laterally compressed. Dorsal and ventral profile almost equally convex. Upper jaw slightly longer than lower. 4 pairs of barbels. Silvery colored body with grayish back. Dorsal spine serrated posteriorlly and pectoral serrated internally. Adipose fin always present and caudal deeply forked. Pectoral and anal fins with reddish margin. Lateral line present and complete.
Head 18.1% SL and 15.2% TL. Height 23.8% SL and 20% TL. Eye 26.3% HL (Galib, 2008).
D1. 8(1/7); D2. 0; A. 44-56 (3-4/41-52); P. 14-17 (1/13-16); V. 6; C. 17 (Bhuiyan, 1964)
D. 1/7; P1. 1/13-14; P2. 6; A. 3-4/46-48 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; IUCN Bangladesh, 2000)
D I 7; A iii-iv 41-52; P I 13-16; V i 5 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)
Maximum lengths and weight: 40.2 cm (Hora, 1941), 20 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964), 30 cm (Rahman, 2005) and 13.5 cm (Galib, 2008).
Talwar and Jhingran (1991) recorded 1.35 Kg fish from India.
Habitat and niche: Fresh and tidal waters (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Surface feeder (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991; IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).
In Bangladesh, this species is available in all rivers (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000), the Chalan Beel (Galib et al., 2009), Karnafuli reservoir in Chittagong (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000; Rahman, 2005) and Padma river at Rajshahi (Samad et al., 2010).
Food and feeding: As a carnivorous fish it takes insects, clotted blood, raw liver, raw meat, small fishes and their larvae (Bhatti 1934; IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).
Harvesting and importance: Harvesting usually done by dip net (Bhuiyan, 1964). Serve as tasty food fish and got an excellent market demand. Always marketed in fresh condition. Bhuiyan (1964) described this fish as an excellent fish for the dining table.
Disease: Suffers from the attack of the nematode parasite, Spiniiectus indicus (Baylis, 1939).
Baylis, 1939. In: Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 60-61.
Bhatti. 1934. In: Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 60-61.
Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 60-61.
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.
Hora SL. 1941. Siluroid fishes of India, Burma and Ceylon. XI. Fishes of the schilbeid genera Silonopangasius Hora, Pseudeutropius Bleeker, Proeutropiichthys Hora and Ailia Gray. Rec. Indian Mus. 43(2):97-112.
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. 183.
Rahman AKA. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 203-204.
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.
Swainson W. 1839. The natural history and classification of fishes, amphibians, & reptiles, or monocardian animals. Spottiswoode & Co., London. The natural history and classification of fishes, amphibians, & reptiles, or monocardian animals. v. 2: i-vi + 1-448.
Talwar PK and Jhingran AG. 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 2, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 603-604.
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