Black rohu: Labeo calbasu
Black rohu: Labeo calbasu



Cyprinus calbasu: Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822.

Labeo calbasu: Day, 1878; Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937; Bhuiyan, 1964; Macdonald, 1948.


Common name: Kalbasu, Black rohu (English name)

Bangla name: Kalbaus, Baus, Kalia


Taxonomic position:

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Osteichthyes

Order: Cypriniformes

Family: Cyprinidae

Sub family: Cyprininae

Genus: Labeo

Species: Labeo calbasu



Morphological description:

Dorsal profile is more convex than that of abdomen. Lip is thick and fringed. Two pairs of barbells are present among them rostral pair longer than maxillary pair. No pores on snout. Eye is lire in size and situated a bit anterior from the half of the head (Bhuiyan, 1964). Caudal peduncle is short. Lateral line well marked, scales in moderate size. Mouth is moderately wide and inferior all openings wide. Body colour dark in back but the ventral part is light dark and ventral portion of the opercular region white iris coppery. Above morphological description is quite similar to Rahman, 2005; Talwar and Jhingran, 2001 and Bhuiyan, 1964.


Fin formula:

D. 3-4/13-16, P1. 1/16-18, P2. 1/7-8, A. 2-3.

D. 3-4, P1. 1/16-18, P2. 1/8, A. 2-3 (Talwar and Jhingran, 2001)

D. 3/14-15, P1. 16-18, P2. 1/8, A. 2/5 (Rahman, 2005 )

D. 16-18, P1. 19, P2. 9, A. 3/5 (Bhuiyan, 1964)

Scales number on the lateral line series is 40 to 43. Minimum and maximum value of scales number above the lateral line is 7 and 8 respectively. Minimum and maximum value of scales number below the lateral line is 7 and 8 respectively. Scales number mentioned by other writers are as follows, 40-42 scales on the lateral line series (Rahman, 2005), 40-44 scales on lateral line series (Talwar and Jhingran, 2001).


Habit and habitat:

Bottom dweller and can tolerate high turbid water during dry season. It inhibits rivers and tributary. They are also seen in deep pools, clear sluggish stream (Bhuiyan, 1964 and Rahman, 2005).


Breeding time:

Breeds during rainy season (Bhuiyan, 1964) stated that both male and female spawn in shallow water of the river after heavy showers of the rainy season.


Economic importance:

Ghosh et. al., (1933) states that its liver oil contains vitamin-A. This fish is in great demand in the market. It is a good sport on rod and line (Rahman, 2005).


Ecological role:

It also feeds on dead and decaying matter at the bottom. It acts as scavenger and improves the sanitation of the tank (Bhuiyan, 1964).


Marketing status:

Market price is varied between 130-150 Tk/kg.




Bhuiyan, A.L. 1964. Fishes of Dacca. Asiatic Soc. Pakistan, Publ. No. 13, Dacca. p. 22.

Day, F. 1878. Fishes of India. William Dowson and Sons., London. p. 536.

Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822. Fishes of the Ganges. Archibald Constable and Company, Edinburgh. p. 279

Macdonald, 1948. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 44: p. 529.

Rahman, A.K.A. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh. The Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka. p. 115.

Shaw, G.E. and Shebbeare, E.O. 1937. Fishes of Northern Bengal. J. Royal Asiat. Soc. Bengal Science. p. 52.

Talwar, P.K. and Jhingran, A.G. 2001. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent countries. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi. p. 203.

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Black rohu: Labeo calbasu

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Ismat Ara Zakia

Ex-student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. More...

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