Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Clupeiformes (herrings)
Family: Clupeidae (Herrings (shads, sprats, sardines, pilchards, and menhadens)
Subfamily: Alosinae (Shads)
Species: T. ilisha
Clupanodon ilisha Hamilton, 1822
Clupea ilisha (Hamilton, 1822)
Clupea palasah Cuvier, 1829
Hilsa ilisha (Hamilton, 1822)
Macrura ilisha (Hamilton, 1822)
English: Hilsa shad and Hilsa
Bangladesh: Ilish (ইলিশ), Hilsa (হিলসা) and Ilisha (ইলিশা)
India: Ilihi (Assam); Hilsa and Ilishmach (West Bengal); Hilsa (Bihar and Uttar Pradesh); Ilish, Ilisha and Jodi (Orissa); Palasah (Andhra Pradesh); Ullam and Sevva (Tamil Nadu); Paluva, Paliyah and Valava (Kerala); Paliya and Palasa (Karbataka); Palla (Maharashtra); and Palla and Chaksi (Gujarat) (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).
Distributions: Northern part of Indian Ocean (from the ‘Gulf’ eastward to Myanmar, including western and eastern coast of India, also rivers) (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).
Conservation status: Not threatened in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).
Morphology: Body fusiform, deep and laterally compressed. Body depth 3.1-3.7 times in SL, head 3.3-3.6 times in SL; belly with 30-33 scutes (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Gill rakers straight or slightly curved, fine and numerous (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). No teeth on jaws. 45-47 scales in lateral series.
Body color silvery with gold and purple. A blackish blotch behind gill opening followed by a series of small spots along flanks. Fins are hyaline.
D. 18-20; P. 15; V. 9; A. 18-21; C. 19 (Bhuiyan, 1964)
D. 17-19 (3/14-16); P1. 14-16; P2. 8 (1/7); A. 18-23 (2-3/16-20); C. 19 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D iv-v 14-16; A ii-iii 16-20; P i 14; V i 7 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)
D. 18-20; P. 15; V. 9; A. 18-22; C. 16-20 (Shafi and Quddus, 2001)
Maximum lengths: 20.1 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964), 53 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005), female: 60 cm and 2.49 kg; male: 43 cm and 0.68 kg (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991) and 60 cm and 2.5 kg (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).
Habitats: Euryhaline anadromous species; marine, pelagic and schooling in coastal waters. Caught from the Padma and Meghna rivers of Bangladesh (Bhuiyan, 1964).
Food and feeding: Feeds on zooplankton and phytoplankton in the early hours of the day (Bhuiyan, 1964).
Spawning: Breeds during south-west monsoon and a shorter from January-February (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Enters rivers from the Bay of Bengal during breeding time. Ascends rivers as much as 1200 km (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).
Length of mature female is generally 38-46 cm and male is smaller than female (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Attains sexual maturity at 1-1.5 years of age (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). Fecundity was reported 2,54,560-15,77,600 (31.5-53 cm) (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and 18,64,000 (2.1 kg) (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).
Fishery info: National fish of Bangladesh. Popular food fish in Bangladesh because of its taste and flavor.
Bhuiyan AL (1964) Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 9-10.
Cuvier G (1829) Le Règne Animal, distribué d’après son organisation, pour servir de base à l’histoire naturelle des animaux et d’introduction à l’anatomie comparée. Edition 2. Le Règne Animal, distribué d’après son organisation, pour servir de base à l’histoire naturelle des animaux et d’introduction à l’anatomie comparée. Edition 2. v. 2: i-xv + 1-406.
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, pp. 249-251.
Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 272-274.
Shafi M and Quddus MMA (2001) Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 27-41.
Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 1, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 100-101.
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