Category: Fishes | Resource

Spotted sicklefish, Drepane punctata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Spotted sicklefish, Drepane punctata (formalin preserved)

Spotted sicklefish, Drepane punctata (formalin preserved)

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii  (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perches)
Family: Drepaneidae (Sicklefishes)
Genus: Drepane
Species: D. punctata

Chaetodon punctatus Linnaeus, 1758
Drepane punctatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Drepanichthys punctatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Harpochirus punctatus (Linneaus, 1758)

Common/local names
English: Spotted sicklefish
Bangladesh: Pan (পান)

Distribution: Indo-west pacific (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Morphology: Body strongly compressed with considerably elevated dorsal profile. Large eyes situated on the upper edge of the head. Pelvic and anal fins with strong spines. Pectoral fins very long and extended to anal base. A large orange spot just above the base of pectoral fins.

Silvery body; a bluish with yellowish tinge on upper half of body. Bases of second dorsal, anal and caudal fins are yellowish but margins are grayish black. Body deep and its greatest depth more than half of total length (Huda and Haque, 2003). Eye diameter 3.2 in length of head; head 2.3 in standard, 2.7 in total length; height 1.2 in standard, 1.5 in total length (Rahman, 2005).

Fin formula:
D VIII-IX 19-22; A III 17-19; P i 17; V I 5 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)
D. VIII-IX/19-22; P1. 17; P2. I/5; A. III/17-19 (Rahman, 2005)

Maximum lengths: 45 cm (Huda and Haque, 2003; Rahman, 2005) and 20 cm standard length (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Habitats: Estuaries and tidal rivers of Bangladesh (Rahman, 2005). Found in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh (Huda and Haque, 2003). Inhibits shallow waters around coral and rocky reefs and living in sea but entering brackish water (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Fairly common in the Godavari estuary of Andhra Pradesh, India (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Economic importance: Used as food fish in Bangladesh.



Huda MS and Haque ME. 2003. Field Guide to Finfishes of Sundarban, Aquatic Resource Division, Sundarban, Sundarban Biodiversity COnservation Project, Bangladesh Forest Department, Khulna, Bangladesh, p. 148.

Linnaeus C. 1758. Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.) Holmiae. Systema Naturae, Ed. X. v. 1: i-ii + 1-824.

Rahman AKA. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 375-376.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG. 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 2, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, p. 874.


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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: More...

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