Bengal loach: Botia dario
Bengal loach: Botia dario

Systematic position:
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cypriniformes (Carps)
Family: Cobitidae (loaches)
Genus: Botia
Species: B. dario

Synonyms: Cobitis dario (Hamilton, 1822), Botia geto (Hamilton, 1822), Canthophrys flavicauda (Swainson, 1839), Canthophrys zebra (Swainson, 1839), Diacanthus flavicauda (Swainson, 1839), Diacanthus zebra (Swainson, 1839).

Common/Local names: Bou, Rani, Beti (Bangladesh); Necktie loach (English); bengal loach (Fishbase).

Distribution: Bangladesh, India (Ganga and Brahmaputra drainage) (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Conservation status: Endangered in Bangladesh (IUCN, 2000).

Morphology: Body elongated and laterally compressed. Dorsal profile more convex than that of ventral, head flattened at sides. Mouth small and ventral. 4 pairs of barbels including 2 rostral, 1 maxillary and 1 mandibular pair present. Body color yellow or yellowish with several (generally 7) black colored transverse bands.

Maximum length reported 8 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964), 7.3 cm (Hussain, 1999), and 15.1 cm (Rahman, 1989). Highest length measured 9.5 cm in 2007 in the Chalan Beel of Bangladesh.

Head 24.5% SL and 20.3% TL. Height 26.4% SL and 21.9% TL. Eye 23.1% HL. Scales minute. Lateral line present and complete. Caudal fin forked.

Fin formula: D. 11-13 (2-3/9-10); P1. 14; P2. 8; A. 7-8 (2/5-6) (Rahman, 1989)

Habitat: Water bodies of Bangladesh, abundant in streams of Mymensingh, Sylhet, Dinajpur, Rangpur and Chittagong hill tracts (Rahman, 1989). Recorded in Chalan Beel  of Bangladesh (Galib et al., 2009).

Economics importance: Used as food fish in Bangladesh. Occasionally found in aquarium shops. This fish is liked by the people for its good flavor (Bhuiyan, 1964).



Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 50-51.

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

Hamilton F (Buchanan). 1822. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches, Edinburgh & London, Fishes Ganges, pp. 1-405.

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 Fishes and Fisheries of the River Atrai in Rajshahi with Reference to its Limnology, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Department of Zoology, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, pp. 5-200.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, 116 p.

Rahman AKA. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, p. 154.

Swainson W. 1839. The natural history and classification of fishes, amphibians, & reptiles, or monocardian animals. Spottiswoode & Co., London.  Nat. Hist. & Class. 448 p.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG. 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. I, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 537-538.

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Bengal loach: Botia dario (Hamilton, 1822)

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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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