Xenentodon cancila
Xenentodon cancila



Esox cancila Hamilton, 1822, Fishes of the Ganges. p. 213.

Belone cancila Day, 1878, Fishes of India. p.511.

Xenentodon cancila Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937, Fishes of Northern Bangal. p.108.

Xenentodon cancila Bhuiyan, 1964, Fishes of Dacca. p.86.

Common name: Freshwater garfish

Local name: Kakila, Kakla

Taxonomy position:

Phylum- Chordata


Order- Beloniformes

Family- Belonidae

Genus- Xenentodon Regan

Fin formula:

D. 15-16;  P1. 10-11;  P2. 6;  A. 17-18. (Rahman, 2005)

Description of the species:

Dorsal and anal fin is similar and arranged symmetrically near to the tail. Appearance of the general shape is torpedo like. Eye is comparatively large. Dorsal and abdominal profiles are almost straight. Maximum length is recorded 30.4 cm in total length (Day, 1878) and longest examined is 26.1 cm in total length (Rahman, 1989). Longest specimen (15 cm) is collected from Bornai River during field study. Greenish grey above, ventrally white and streak extends from above the pectoral to the base of the caudal.

Habit and Habitat:

This fish is surface feeder and its feeds on small animals, algae etc.  Freshwater, primarily rivers, ponds, canals, beels and inundated fields throughout the study area.

Economic importance:

It is very popular fish for different levels of people in Bangladesh. It is also popular as a medicinal fish in some villagers. Market price of this fish is comparatively cheap.


Bhuiyan, A. L. 1964. Fishes of Dacca. Asiatic Society of Pakistan, Dacca.pp.148.

Day, F. 1878. Fishes of India, being a natural history of fishes known to inhabit the seas and freshwaters of India, Burma and Ceylon. William Dawson & Sons Ltd., London, Vol. I: 778pp

Hamilton, F., 1822. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches, Edinburgh & London, Fishes Ganges, 405 p.

Rahman, A.K.A. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh. The Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000. 364pp.

Rahman, A.K.A. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh (Second edition). The Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000. 394pp.

Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937, The Fishes of Northern Bangal.  Journal of Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal Science. p.124.

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Xenentodon cancila

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Md. Abul Bashar

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

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