Bronze featherback: Notopterus notopterus
Bronze featherback: Notopterus notopterus

Syatematic position
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Osteoglossiformes (bony tongues)
Family: Notopteridae (featherbacks or knifefishes)
Genus: Notopterus
Species: N. notopterus

Clupea synura
Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Gymnotus notopterus Pallas, 1769
Notopterus kapirat
(Lacepède, 1800)
Notopterus bontianus
Valenciennes, 1848
Mystus badgee
Sykes, 1839
Notopterus osmani
(Rahimullah and Das, 1936).

Common/local names
English: Grey featherback and bronze featherback
Bangladesh: Foli (ফলি) and Pholoi (ফলুই)
India: Patola, Phulo, Pholui, Phallai, Kandoolee, kanduli, Moh, Patra,Pholi, Golhi, But, Purri, Payi, Battu, Pulli, Ulakatta, Mangalikatti, Ambattan-kathi, Chottovalai, Chappati, Chennavalai, Nadu, Pappari and Chalat (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Distribution: Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Malaya and Indonesia (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Conservation status: Vulnerable in Bangladesh due to habitat loss (IUCN, 2000)

Morphology: Body highly compressed and dorsal and ventral profile almost equally convex. Scales minute. Dorsal fin short. Anal fin long and confluent with caudal fin, which is very little in size. Body color silvery-white with numerous fine gray spots on body and head. Lateral line present and complete with 230-240 (IUCN, 2000) scales. Head 19.4% SL, and 17.6% TL. Height 35.5% SL and 32.4% TL. Eye 20% HL (Galib, 2008).

Fin formulas
D. 7-8; P1. 15-17; P2. 5-6; A. 99-104. (Rahman, 1989)
D.7-9; A+C.100-110; V.5-6 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum length and weight: 60 cm (IUCN, 2000; Day, 1878), 28 cm (Rahman, 1989). 25 cm and 46 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Maximum weight reported by Rahman (1989) is 315 g.

Habitat and niche: Rivers, canals, beels, ponds, haors, etc. also found in brackish water. If there is no small fish of other cultivated species it can be cultivated (IUCN, 2000). Recorded in Chalan Beel (Galib et al., 2009), Gacher Dahar Beel of Sylhet (Rahman, 1989).

Feeding habit: They are carnivorous in habit (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Breeding: According to Rahman, (1989) they breed in rainy season at May and June. Breed in stagnant or running water. They have less fecundity and are laid in small clumps or submerged vegetation (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Economic importance: Mainly used as food fish in Bangladesh. Also used as ornamental fish species in aquarium.

Harvesting and marketing: Usually done by rod and line.



Bloch ME  and Schneider JG (1801) M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae iconibus cx illustratum. Post obitum auctoris opus inchoatum absolvit, correxit, interpolavit Jo. Gottlob Schneider, Saxo. Berolini. Sumtibus Auctoris Impressum et Bibliopolio Sanderiano Commissum. M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae.: i-lx + 1-584, Pls. 1-110.

Cuvier G and Valenciennes A (1848) Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome vingt et unième. Suite du livre vingt et unième et des Clupéoïdes. Livre vingt-deuxième. De la famille des Salmonoïdes. Histoire naturelle des poissons. v. 21: i-xiv + 1 p. + 1-536.

Day F (1878) Fishes of India: being a Natural History of the Fishes Known to Inhabit the Sea and Freshwater of India, Ceylon and Burma, Atlas in 4th part, London, XX+778 pp.

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.

Galib SM (2008)  A Study on Fish Diversity and Fishing Gears of Chalan Beel with Reference to Preservation of Catches, Honors dissertation submitted to the Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, 172 pp.

IUCN Bangladesh (2000) Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh, IUCN- The world conservation union. xii+116 pp.

Lacepède BGE (1800) Histoire naturelle des poissons. Histoire naturelle des poissons. v. 2: i-lxiv + 1-632, Pls. 1-20.

Pallas PS (1769) Spicilegia Zoologica quibus novae imprimis et obscurae animalium species iconibus, descriptionibus atque commentariis illustrantur. Berolini, Gottl. August. Lange. Spicilegia Zoologica quibus novae imprimis et obscurae animalium species iconibus, descriptionibus atque commentariis illustrantur. 1(7):1-42, Pls. 1-6.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 44-45.

Sykes WH (1839) On the fishes of the Deccan. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1838 (pt 6): 157-165.

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. 64-65.


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Bronze featherback: Notopterus notopterus (Pallas, 1769)

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Nipa Chaki

Student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. More...

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