Category: Fishes | Resource

Black pomfret, Parastromateus niger (Bloch, 1795)

Black pomfret: Parastromateus niger

Black pomfret: Parastromateus niger

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perches)
Family: Carangidae (Jacks and pompanos)
Genus: Parastromateus
Species: P. niger

Apolectus niger (Bloch, 1795)
Citula halli Evermann & Seale, 1907
Formio niger (Bloch, 1795)
Stromateus niger Bloch, 1795
Temnodon inornatus Kuhl & van Hasselt, 1851

Common/local names
English: Black pomfret and Brown pomfret
Bangladesh: Rup chanda (রূপ চান্দা) and Maysha chanda (মাইশা চান্দা)

Distributions: India, Malay Archipelago and China (Day, 1958); Distributed in Bay of Bengal, eastern sea of India, Afirca and Japan (Shafi and Quddus, 2003).

Conservation status: Not threatened in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Body deeply compressed. Ventral and abdominal profiles equally convex.  Belly strongly keeled. Eyes sub-cutaneous. Mouth slighty oblique, maxillary enlarged at below front border of eye. Needle like teeth present but almost absent in adult. Teeth in jaws slender, pointed and inserted on a ridge. Opercular bone smooth and contain deciduous scales.

Dorsal and anal have very concave external margin which posteriorly very low and anteriorly much elevated. Lateral line in form of a raised keel with lateral shields. Caudal base is narrow and deeply forked, pelvic wanting in adults but in young it is well developed. Pectoral fin started at the end of post orbital part of head.

Head length 3.0-3.4 times in standard length.and 4.5 in total length; Height 1.5-1.8 in standard, 2.5-3.0 in total length; Eye diameter is 3.8-4.2 ; Snout 1.1-1.3; Interorbital 1.2-1.5; convex and keeled (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)

Deep or grayish brown with blue reflections; cheeks, opercle and abdomen are likely in same color and pale or brownish. At the end region of dorsal and anal is stained towards their margins; Black color present in pectoral and caudal edge.

Fin formula: D. V/42-44; P1. 22; A. III/33-35; C.19  (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)

Maximum length: 60 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; Huda et al., 2003).

Habitats:Bay of Bengal and estuaries (Rahman, 1989 and 2005); Muddy bottom, form a colony to live, often found in estuary (Shafi and Quddus, 2003); Coast, Gulf of Manaar and trawling (Munro, 2000); Lives in estuary (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000). Available in the Sundarbans (Huda et al., 2003).

Food and feeding: Thaliaceans42.8℅, shrimp14.8℅, scale of fish6.7%, crustacean4.0%, amphopodes3.7%, cattle fish0.7%, polychaeta0.4%, medusa 0.2%,and other dirty things25.6%. Fishes of different ages takes different food but thaliaceans are taken by fishes of all ages. During October to December their tendency of taking food becomes (Shafi and Quddus, 2003).

Spawing: They lay eggs during July to October  but mostly in August to September. This type of fish lays eggs only a specific time in a year (Shafi and Quddus, 2003).

Fishery info: It is an important food fish and excellent in taste. It is also taken as food in dried condition.



Bloch ME (1795) Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische. Berlin. Naturgeschichte der Ausländischen Fische. 9: i-ii + 1-192, pp. 397-429.

Day F (1958) The Fishes of India: being a Natural History of the fishes known to inhabit the seas and freshwater of India., Burma and Ceylon. Reproduced in 1958 by William Dowson and Sons, London. 247 pp.

Evermann BW and Seale A (1907) Fishes of the Philippine Islands. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries 26: 49-110.

Huda MS, Haque ME, Babul AS and Shil NC (ed.) (2003) Field guide to finfishes of Sundarban, Aquatic resources division, Sundarban, Boyra, Khulna, Bangladesh, p. 117.

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

Munro ISR (2000) The marin and freshwater fishes of Ceylon. Dept. of External affairs, Canberra. 224 p.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 264-265.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 288-289.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA (2003) Bangopshagorer  Matsho Shampad (in bengali) kabir publication. 393 p.



to Md. Abdus Salam Romel, student of B.Sc. Fisheries (Hons.) Part 4, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh for providing me the photograph, used in this article.


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MS Student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. Email: [email protected]; [email protected] More...

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