Gongota loach: Canthophrys gongota
Gongota loach: Canthophrys gongota

Cobitis gongota Hamilton, 1822
Somileptes gongota Day, 1878
Somileptes gongota Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937

Common name: Gongota loach
Local name: Poia, pahari-gutum, puiya

Taxonomy position:
Phylum- Chordata
Family- Cobitidae
Genus- Canthophrys
Species- Canthophrys gongota

Fin formula:

D. 2/8;   P1.10;   P2. 7;   A. 7 (2/5). (Rahman, 2005)
D iii 8; A ii 5; P i 10; V i 6 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Description of the species:
Body is subcylindrical and posteriorly tapering. Upper profile of snout is nearly straight or a little concave. Eyes are close together situated high up at middle of head. Lips are thick, lower with papillae, 4 rostral and 2 maxillary barbells. A small crect pair presents above nostrils. Anterior nostrils are tubular, posterior nostrils are simple holes. Scales are small. Lateral line is present. Dorsal fin is started at centre between anterior margin of eye and root of caudal fin. Pelvics originate slightly in advance of that of dorsal; caudal rounded. Body colour and decoration: Greenish above and yellowish-white below. Back usually with irregular bands descending upto lateral line. (Rahman, 2005; Rahman, 1989; Rahman and Ruma, 2007)

Largest specimen length is about 10 cm by Talwar and Jhingran (1991) and 130 mm in total length by Rahman, 1989. Longest specimen in collection 6.5 cm from Barnai river, Rajshahi by author.

Gongota loach, Canthophrys gongota
Gongota loach, Canthophrys gongota

Habit and Habitat:
Inhabits generally muddy hill streams (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991) and rivers of Mymensingh, Sylhet, Dinajpur, Rangpur (Rahman, 1989). This species widely distributed in the Rajshahi area in the rainy season (Bhuiyan et al., 1992).

Economic importance:
This species reared in aquarium. Not available in the markets of Rajshahi area. This fish plays an important role in controlling the insect population (Rahman and Ruma, 2007).

Status and conservation:
This species is found in it’s habitats throughout Bangladesh but not abundant any where (Rahman and Ruma, 2007) and not listed as threatened in IUCN Red book of threatened fish of Bangladesh by IUCN Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).



Bhuiyan, A. S., Islam, M. N. and Hossen, T. 1992. A check list of the fishes of Rajshahi. The Rajshahi University Studies Part-B, Vol-xx, p. 287-306.

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 608.

Hamilton, F., 1822. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches, Edinburgh & London, Fishes Ganges, p.351.

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 152.

Rahman, A.K.A. and Ruma F. 2007. Somileptes gongota (Hamilton, 1822). 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.109.

Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937, The Fishes of Northern Bangal.  Journal of Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal Science. p 78.

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 532.

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Gongota loach: Canthophrys gongota

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Md. Abul Bashar

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

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