Catla : Catla catla
Catla : Catla catla

Cyprinus catla Hamilton, 1822
Catla buchanani Day, 1878
Catla catla Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937
Catla catla Bhuiyan, 1964
Catla catla Menon, 1974

Common name: Catla
Local name: Katla, katal

Taxonomy position:
Phylum- Chordata
Order- Cypriniformes
Family- Cyprinidae
Genus- Catla

Fin formula:
D. 17-18 (2/15-16); P1. 18-20; P2. 9; A. 8 (3/5). (Rahman, 2005; Rahman, 1989)
D iii-iv 14-21; A iii 6-8; P I 12-13; V ii-iii 7-8 (Talwar and Jhingran,1991)
D 2/15-16; P1 18-20; P2 9; A 3/5 (Rahman and Chowdhury, 2007)

Description of the species:
The body of this fish is compressed and short and head is comperatively broad. Mouth is wide, upper lip thin, covered over by skin of snout. Lower lip is moderately thick. No barbel. Dorsal profile is more convex than that of abdomen, Lateral line complete. Caudal forked. Gill rakers are long and fine and the gill opening wide. Body is deepest at the commencement of the dorsal fin (Bhuiyan, 1964). Colour grey above, silvery on the sides and white on the belly. Maximum length is 180 cm (Day, 1889), longest specimen in collection 30 cm by author. Diploid chrosome number of the species has been recored as 50 in India (Rahman and Chowdhury, 2007).

Habit and Habitat:
Catla is non predatory and its feeding is restricted to the surface and mid waters. It is abundantly found in the Buriganga, Meghna and other principal rivers of Bangladesh. It resides in fresh or brackish water, being found within the tidal influences (Day, 1889).

Economic importance:
Its demand is extensive. According to Basu and Gupta (1939), its flesh contains 19.2% crude protein, 2-5% fat and 70% water. According to Ghosh et. al. (1933), per gramme of its liver-oil contain 583 IU Vitamin- A. It is a good sport on rod and line (Rahman, 1989)

Ecological role:
According to Ahmed et. al. (1945), it is not so much a bottom feeder as Rohu. As a result surface and side vegetation are very helpful for its rapid growth and increase water quality.

Status and conservation:
It can be easily stocked and reared in the deep and clear water of the pond and tanks. It growth is more rapid in rice field than in tanks (Hora, 1951). Water pollution mainly agricultural pollution poisoning are potential threats. To increase awareness of disadvantage of the using of pesticide and to decrease agricultural pollution are play an important role for conservation of the species.

This species is available in Bangladesh and not listed as threatened in IUCN Red book of thereatened fish of Bangladesh by IUCN Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).



Ahmed, B., Ramchand and Hussain, M. 1945. Vitamin ‘A’ content of the freshwater fishes of the Punjab. Indian Med. Res. 33(2): 215-218.

Basu, K. P. and Gupta, K. 1939. Biological value of proteins of some species of Bengal fish by nitrogen balance and growth methods. J. Indian Chem. Soc. Calcutta, 543-548.

Bhuiyan, A. L. 1964. Fishes of Dacca. Asiatic Society of Pakistan, Dacca. p 31.

Day, F. 1889. The fauna of British India including Burma and Ceylon. (London) Fish. 1: 548 pp; 2: 509 pp.

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: p 552.

Ghosh, A. R., Chakravarty, P. N., Guha, B. C. and Gupta, K. G. 1933. Further observations on vitamin ‘A’ in the Indian fish-liver oil. Indian J. Med. Res. Calcutta. 21(2).

Hamilton, F., 1822. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches, Edinburgh & London, Fishes Ganges, plate 19, Fig 287.

Hora, S. L. 1951. Fish culture in rice fields. Curr. Sci. Bangalore. 20(7): 171.

IUCN Bangladesh. 2000. Red Book of Threatened Fishes of Bangladesh. IUCN- The World Conservation Union. xii+116 pp.

Menon, A. G. K. 1974, A Checklist of the Fishes of the Himalayan and the Indo-gangetic Plains. Inland Fisheries Society India, Barrackpore, p 23.

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

Rahman, A.K.A. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh. The Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000. p 138.

Rahman, A.K.A. and Chowdhury, G.W. 2007. Catla catla. In: Siddiqui, K.U., Islam, M.A., Kabir, S.M.H., Ahmed, M., Ahmed, A.T.A., Rahman, A.K.A., Haque, E.U., Ahmed, Z.U., Begum, Z.N.T., Hasan, M.A., Khondker, M., and Rahman, M.M. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh, Vol. 23. Freshwater Fishes. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka. p.46.

Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937, The Fishes of Northern Bangal.  Journal of Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal Science. p 44.

Talwar, P. K. and Jhingran, A. G., 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries. Volume 1. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, Calcutta. p 162.

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Catla : Catla catla

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Md. Abul Bashar

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

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