Striped Dwarf Catfish: Mystus vittatus
Striped Dwarf Catfish: Mystus vittatus

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfishes)
Superfamily: Bagroidea
Family: Bagridae (Bagrid catfishes)
Genus: Mystus
Species: M. vittatus

Aoria vittatus
(Bloch, 1794)
Bagrus vittatus (Bloch, 1794)
Macrones vittatus (Bloch, 1794)
Mystus vittatus vittatus (Bloch, 1794)
Silurus vittatus Bloch, 1794

Common/local names
English: Striped dwarf catfish
Bangladesh: Tengra (টেংরা)
India: Singorah and Tengara (Assam); Tengra (West Bengal); Kuggur, Tengra and Palwa (Bihar); Kabakander (Punjab); Kuntiah and Tengra (Orissa); Suku-jella and Erra-jella (Andhra Pradesh); Katta-keluthi, Natta-kellettee, Auppan-keluthi and Sonan-keluthi (Tamil Nadu); Chillan, Kallen coori and Ettachulli (Kerala) (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Distributions: Bangladesh, the Punjab, Sind Ceylon, India, Assam, Myanmar and Siam (Bhuiyan, 1964). Also found in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

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

Morphology: Body elongated and slightly compressed. 4 pairs of barbels, maxillary barbels extending beyond the pelvic fins, often to the end of the anal fin. Dorsal spine weak, finely serrated on its inner edge. Adipose fin small, inserted much behind rayed dorsal fin but anterior to the anal fin. Lateral line present and straight.

Color varies with age; generally delicate gray-silvery to shining golden, with about 5 pale blue or dark brown to deep black longitudinal on side. A narrow dusky spot often present on the shoulder. The fins glass, with dark tips. Head 23.3% SL and 18.2% TL. Height 16.3% SL and 12.7% TL. Eye 15% HL.

Fin formula:
D. 1/7; P1. 1/9; P2. 6; A. 11 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D I 7; A ii-iii 7-9; P I 9; V i 5 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)
D1. I/7; D2. 0; P. I/8; A. 9-12 (2-3/7-9); V. I/5; C. 17 (Shafi and Quddus, 2001)

Maximum lengths: 10.2 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964), 9.5 cm (Hussain, 1999), 11.7 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and 20.2 cm (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Habitats: Found in freshwater bodies;  in flooded canals, beels, paddy and jute fields, streams, haors, oxbow lakes and rivers in swarms during rainy season (Bhuiyan, 1964; Shafi and Quddus, 2001). Inhibits standing and flowing water bodies, even in the tidal zone (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Recorded from Chalan Beel (Galib et al., 2009a).

Food and feeding: Bottom feeder (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). Food materials include algae (18%), higher plants (27%), protozoa (13%), crustaceans (24%) and insects (11%) (Bhuiyan, 1964). According to Shafi and Quddus (2001) food of this fish composed of 22% algae, 27% aquatic plants, 13% protozoan, 2% chironomas and other aquatic insect larvae, 16% small mollusk and 20% small fishes.

Breeding: During summer monsoon (Bhuiyan, 1964; Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Economics importance: Used as food fish in Bangladesh.

Harvesting and marketing: Harvested by using cast net, drag net, hooks (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). In Chalan Beel, Punti Jal (gill net), Khora jal (lift net), Thela jal (drag net), Ber jal (seine net), Moi jal (drag net), Bitti (trap), Kholsun (trap), Tengra borshi (Tengra hook) etc. are used (Galib et al., 2009b) Caught in large quantities in ponds, lakes, rivers etc. in the Indian region (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Extensively available in the market during rainy season (Bhuiyan, 1964).



Bhuiyan AL (1964) Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 30-32.

Galib SM, Samad MA, Mohsin ABM, Flowra FA and Alam MT (2009a) Present Status of Fishes in the Chalan Beel- the Largest Beel (Wetland) of Bangladesh, Int. J. Ani. Fish. Sci. 2(3): 214-218.

Galib SM, Samad MA, Kamal MM, Haque MA and Hasan MM (2009b) A Study on Fishing Gears and Methods in the Chalan Beel of North-West Bangladesh, J. Environ. Sci. & Natural Resources, 2(2): 213-218.

Hussain MM (1999) Fishes and Fisheries of the River Atrai in Rajshahi with Reference to its Limnology, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Department of Zoology, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, pp. 5-200.

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. 202-203.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 224-225.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA (2001) Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 186-187.

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. 573-174.


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Striped Dwarf Catfish: Mystus vittatus (Bloch, 1794)

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Shams Galib

Shams works in freshwater ecosystems, primarily on fish diversity in terms of their availability, and richness; he is also interested in aquatic invasive species and their impacts on ecosystem. Email: More...

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