Category: Fishes | Resource

Spiketail paradisefish, Pseudosphromenus cupanus (Cuvier, 1831)

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii  (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Suborder: Anabantoidei (Labyrinthici, in part)
Family: Osphronemidae (Gouramis)
Sub-family: Macropodinae (Siamese fighting fishes, Paradisefishes)
Genus: Pseudosphromenus
Species: P. cupanus

Macropodus cupanus (Cuvier, 1831)
Polyacanthus cupanus
Cuvier, 1831
Polyacanthus cupanus dayi Köhler, 1908

Common/local names
English: Spiketailed Paradise or Red spiketailed paradisefish
Bangladesh: Koi bandi (কই বান্দি)
India: Hebbuti (Andhra Pradesh); Paunah and Pauni (Tamil Nadu); Caringanah and Wunntee (Kerala) and Tabuti (Karnataka).

Distributions: Eastern India, Srilanka, Western Myanmar, Malay Peninsula and Sumatra (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991); India, Ceylon, Malabar coast, Burma and South Vietnam (Sterba, 1989)

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

Morphology: Body compress and oblong. Mouth small and protractile. Serrated preorbital, posterior half of preopercle, subopercle and posterior half of interorbital present. No teeth o0n palatine and vomer but in cardiform. Dorsal commences above the origin of them anal and spines short. Dorsal and anal fin elongated and pointed. First soft ray of pelvic fin is prolonged, caudal fin pointed. Ctenoid scales present. Lateral line interrupted and ceases after the 14th scale, composed of single round holes.

Head 3.0 in standard, 4.5 in total length. Height 3.4 in standard, 4.0 in total length. Eye 4.0-5.0; Snout 0.9 and interorbital 1.0 (Rahman.1989)

Color green. Pelvic ray prolonged and scarlet; dorsal and caudal barred with spots. Base of caudal with a round dark spots. Numerous dark spot present in head and its color variable.
Fin formula:
D. XII-XIV/6-7; P1. 10; P2. 1/5; A. XVI-XVIII/10-11  (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D XIII-XV 5-7; A XVI-XX 9-13; P i 10; V I 5 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum lengths: 0.7 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and 7.5 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Habitats: Ditches, paddy fields and shallow water not far from tidal influence (Rahman, 1989 and 2005); Freshwater ponds and ditches of low country (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991); Malabar and Coromandel coasts, often found in ditches, paddy fields and shallow waters, generally within or not far removed from tidal influence. It lurks under stones or amongst weeds and becomes very time in aquarium (Day, 1958); freshwater ponds & ditches of low country (Munro, 2000).

Food and feeding: Accept any type of food (Sterba, 1989); Feeds on insects and zooplanktons and larvivorous  (Siddiqui et al., 2007)

Spawning: The female often take an a velvet black coloring during breeding season (Sterba, 1989)

Ecological role: Helps to control the insect and zooplankton population in the aquatic ecosystem (Siddiqui, et al., 2007).

Fishery info: It is a hardy species and rather more of a jumper than most bubble-nest builders; used as aquarium fish (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)



Cuvier G and Valenciennes A (1831) Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome septième. Livre septième. Des Squamipennes. Livre huitième. Des poissons à pharyngiens labyrinthiformes. Histoire naturelle des poissons. 7: i-xxix + 1-531, Pls. 170-208.

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. 371 pp.

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

Munro ISR (2000) The marine and freshwater fishes of Ceylon. Dept. of External affairs, Canberra. 207 pp

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 283-284.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 308-309.

Siddiqui KU, Islam MA, Kabir SMH, Ahmad ATA, Rahman AKA, Haque EU, Ahmed ZU, Begum ZNT, Hasan MA, Khondker M and Rahman MM (eds) (2007) Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh, Vol. 23. Freshwater Fishes. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka. pp. 299-230.

Sterba G (1989) The Freshwater Fishes of the world. (Translated and revised by D.W. Tucker). London. Vol. 2, 791 pp.

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. 1002-1003.


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

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