Gangetic mystus, Mystus cavasius
Gangetic mystus, Mystus cavasius

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfishes)
Family: Bagridae (Bagrid catfishes)
Genus: Mystus
Species: M. cavasius

Common/local names
English: Gangetic mystus
Bangladesh: Tengra (টেংরা) and Kabasi tengra (কাবাসি টেংরা)
India: Barsinghra, Singhara, Palwa, Tengra, Kala-tenguah, Kavasi, Singti, Singta, Kinger, Guntea, Kontia-tengra, Thella-jella, Muti-jella, Nahara-jella, Cutta, Vazhappu, Vella-kellette, Nai-kelunte, Solai-kelunte, Nai-kirle, Khirkirya and Katirna (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Distribution : Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indo-China, Malaysia, East Indies, Syria and West Africa (Yadav, 1999).

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

Aoria cavasius (Hamilton, 1822)
Bagrus cavasius
(Hamilton, 1822)
Hypselobagrus nigriceps
(Peters, 1868)
Macrones cavasius
(Hamilton, 1822)
Mystus cavensius
(Hamilton, 1822)
Pimelodus cavasius
Hamilton, 1822
Pimelodus seengtee
(Sykes, 1839),
Macrones nigriceps
Peters, 1868,
Mystus mukherjii Ganguly and Datta, 1975
Macrones cavasius (Day 1877)

Morphology: Body elongated and compressed; head conical. Barbels 4 pairs. Maxillary pair in adult fish reaches or cross base of caudal fin but in young specimen, do not extend beyond the anal fin.

Dorsal spine weak. First ray of dorsal fin much longer than head. Adipose fin large and originated from just behind dorsal. Leaden dorsal, yellowish beneath. A black spot behind operculum. Dorsal, adipose and caudal fins shaded with melanophores. Lateral line present and straight.

Head 22.9% SL and 17.3% TL. Height 21.7% SL and 16.4% TL. Eye 31.6% HL (Galib, 2008). Upper lobe of caudal fin longer than lower lobe and pointed. The  male can be easily separated from female by it’s well developed urinogenital papila.

Fin formula: D. I/7; P1. I/8; P2. 6; A. 11 (Rahman, 1989)

Maximum lengths and  weight: Maximum length reported 40 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991); 45 cm (Day, 1877); 14 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964). Talwar and Jhingran (1991) recorded a weight of 10 Kg from India.

Habitat: Commonly found in freshwater, tidal rivers, lakes, beels, ponds, ditches, inundated fields etc. Recorded from Chalan Beel (Galib et al., 2009).

Food and feeding: Feeds on plant matter, insects and crustaceans (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Marketing status: Used as food fish in Bangladesh. This species got a good demand in fish market because of its taste.



Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 63-64.

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.

Hamilton F. 1822. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches. Edinburgh & London. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches.: i-vii + 1-405, Pls. 1-39.

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

(Peters) Cuvier G and Valenciennes A. 1840. Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome quatorzième. Suite du livre seizième. Labroïdes. Livre dix-septième. Des Malacoptérygiens. Histoire naturelle des poissons. v. 14: i-xxii + 2 pp. + 1-464 + 4 pp., Pls. 389-420. [Valenciennes authored volume. i-xx + 1-344 in Strasbourg edition. Published as 1839.]

Rahman AKA. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, p. 200.

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. II, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, p. 559.

Yadav BN. 1999. Fish and Fisheries, Daya Publishing House, Delhi, India, p. 338.


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Gangetic mystus, Mystus cavasius (Hamilton, 1822)

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Roknuzzaman Nayan

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

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