Giant gourami: Colisa fasciatus
Giant gourami: Colisa fasciatus



Trichogaster fasciatus: Bloch and Schneider, 1801; Day, 1878; Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937.

Trichopodus colisa: Hamilton, 1822.

Colisa fasciata: Sterba, 1962, Bhuiyan, 1964; Qureshi, 1965; and Ahmad, 1943.


Common name: Giant gourami, Stripled gourami (English name).

Bangla name: Khailsa, Khalisa, Khaila.           


Taxonomic position:

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Osteichthyes

Order: Perciformes

Family: Anabantidae

Genus: Colisa

Species: Colisa fasciatus


Morphological description:

Body is egg shaped and strongly compressed. Dorsal and abdominal profile is almost equally convex. Eyes are comparatively large. Lips are very thick. Lateral line is interrupted. Scales present on head, body and base of soft dorsal and anal fin. Modified thread like pectoral fins can reach up to 10th spine of anal fin, sometimes up to caudal. Body colour is greenish or bluish above, pelvics with yellow-white bases and brilliant red tips. Dorsal and caudal fins spotted with orange, caudal usually cut square Rahman(2005), Talwar and Jhingran (2001) and Yadav (1997).  


Fin formula:

D. XV-XVII/10-14, P1. 9-10, P2. 1 (modified fin rays), A. XV-XVIII/15-19.

D. 15-17/9-13, P1. 10, P2. I, A. 15-18/14-19 (Bhuiyan, 1964).

D. XV-XVII/9-13, P1. 10, P2. 1, A. XV-XVIII/14 (Shafi and Quddus, 1982).

D. XV/10-14, P1. 9-10, P2. 1, A. XV-XVIII/15-19 (Rahman, 2005).

D. XV-XVII 10-14, P1. 9-10, A. XV-XVIII 14-19 (Talwar and Jhingran, 2001).


Scales number in longitudinal lateral line series is 28 to 30. Minimum and maximum value of scales number above lateral is 5 and 6 respectively on the other hand minimum and maximum value of scales number below lateral line is respectively 7 and 9. Scales number mentioned by other writer is 5½ scales above lateral line (Rahman, 2005) and 29-31 scales in longitudinal lateral line series.


Habit and habitat:

Khalisa is a small freshwater fish found in the streams, pools, beels and ponds. It is carnivorous. It is very hardy and can survive and breed in foul water (Bhuiyan, 1964). It is found all freshwater areas in Bangladesh (Rahman, 2005).


Breeding time:

They Breeds during monsoon season. They built floating nest on the edges of flooded jute and paddy fields. The eggs are yellowish in colour, non-adhesive and 1-1.5 mm. in diameter. Bhatti (1943b) stated that they hatch out in 14-16 hours, temperature of water ranging from 84° to 92°F.


Economic importance:

According to Bhuiyan (1964) this fish is highly esteemed as food. But it is observed that less priced in the market and less catch in the river system.


Ecological role:

Colisa fasciatus a small carnivorous fish, feeding on mosquito larvae, can be recommended for the stocking tanks and ponds as an antimalarial measure (Bhatti, 1943b).


Marketing status:

Market price is varied between 30-50 Tk/kg.




Ahmad, N. 1943.“Fauna of Lahore. 5 Fishes of Lahore”. Bull. Dep. Zoo1 Punjub Univ. Lahore. p. 352.

Bhatti, H.K. 1943b. “On the relative value of certain larvivorous fishes from the Punjab, with notes on their habits and habitats”. India. J. Vet. Sci. Delhi. 13 (Pt. IV): pp. 315-325.

Bhuiyan, A.L. 1964. Fishes of Dacca. Asiatic Soc. Pakistan, Publ. No. 13, Dacca. pp. 111-112.

Bloch, M.E. and Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologica.  Syst. Icth. p. 164.

Day, F. 1878. Fishes of India. William Dowson and sons., London. p. 374.

Hamilton, F. 1822.  Fishes of the Gganges. Archibald constable and company, Edinburgh. p. 366.

Qureshi, M.R. 1965. Common Freshwater fishes of Pakistan. Karachi. p. 49.

Rahman, A.K.A. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh. The Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka. pp. 280-281.

Shaw, G.E. and Shebbeare, E.O. 1937. Fishes of Northern Bengal. J. Royal Asiat. Soc. Bengal Science. p. 117.

Sterba, G. 1962. Freshwater Fishes of the World. Vista Books, London. p. 787.

Talwar, P.K. and Jhingran, A.G. 2001. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi. 2: p. 1006.

Yadav, B.N. 1997. Fish and Fisheries. Daya Publishing House, Calcutta. p. 321.

Shafi, M. and Quddus, M.M.A. 1982. Bangladesher Matshaw Sampad (in Bengali). Bangla academy, Dhaka. pp. 302-303.

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Giant gourami: Colisa fasciatus

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Salma Sultana

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

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