Category: Fishes | Resource | Threatened fishes

Bengala barb, Megarasbora elanga (Hamilton, 1822)

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cypriniformes (Carps)
Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps)
Subfamily: Rasborinae
Genus: Megarasbora
Species: M. elanga

Synonyms
Bengala elanga (Hamilton, 1822)
Cyprinus elanga (Hamilton, 1822)
Leuciscus elanga Hamilton, 1822
Rasbora elanga (Hamilton, 1822)

Common/local names
English: Bengala barb and Bengal barb
Bangladesh: Along (এলাং), Etang (ইটঙ) and Sephalia (সেফালিয়া)

Distributions: Bangladesh, India (West Bengal and Assam) and Myanmar (Bhuiyan, 1964).

Conservation status: Endangered in Bangladesh due to loss of habitats (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Body elongate and slender with very small mouth. Jaw with well-defined prominences and emargination, teeth pharyngeal (Bhuiyan, 1964). Single pair of short rostral barbers. Scales are moderate. 41-43 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005); 40-44 (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000; Shafi and Quddus, 2001) scales on lateral line. Caudal forked, pectoral length is equal to head length.

Body color silvery, sometimes with a leaden band along upper portion of each side.

Fin formula:
D. 9 (2/7); P. 15; V. 8-9; A. 7 (2/5); C. 19 (Bhuiyan, 1964; Shafi and Quddus, 2001)
D. 9 (2/7); P1. 14-15; P2. 9; A 7 (2/5) (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; IUCN Bangladesh, 2000)

Maximum lengths: 11 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964), 21 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005), 15 cm (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000) and 20 cm (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Habitats: Rivers, pools, beels, streams and others (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000). Inhibits rivers throughout Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Found in almost every district of Bangladesh (Bhuiyan, 1964). Abundantly found in rice and jute fields during rainy season (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Food and feeding: Prefers aquatic insects, also takes algae and protozoa (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Fishery info: People do not like it because of its nasty habits such as feeding on sputum and living in nasty areas; however, some poor rural people take it as food (Bhuiyan, 1964).

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REFERENCES

Bhuiyan AL (1964) Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 41-42.

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. 88.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 104-105.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA (2001) Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 158-159.

 

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Author

Lecturer, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Ex-student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi. Email: thegalib@gmail.com. More...

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