Long-whiskered catfish: Sperata aor
Long-whiskered catfish: Sperata aor

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfishes)
Family: Bagridae (Bagrid catfishes)
Genus: Sperata
Species: S. aor

Common/Local names: Long-whiskered catfish (English); Ayre (আইর) and Aor (আওর) (Bangladesh); Aar, Aar-tengara, guji, Kanti, Gaga-tengra, Daryai-tengara, Alli, Addi, seengala, Sauggan, Singari, Singla, thella-jella, Muku-jella, Cumboo-kelutti, Poonai-kelathi, Nadumthalai-kelethis, Manjalatha, Shede, Suragi-meenu and Thorair (India) ( Talwar and Jhingran, 1991; Rahman, 1989).

Aoria aor (Hamilton, 1822)
Aorichthys aor (Hamilton, 1822)
Macrones aor (Hamilton, 1822)
Mystus aor (Hamilton, 1822)
Orichthys aor (Hamilton, 1822)
Pimelodus aor Hamilton, 1822

Distribution: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, India and Myanmar (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000; Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

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

Morphology: Body elongated, head depressed and mouth sub terminal. Eyes transversely oval  situated on the dorsal portion of head. Nostril 2 pairs. 4 pairs of barbels, maxillary pair reaches to the base of caudal fin. Dorsal and pectoral fins contain a strong spine and dorsal spine finely serrated on it’s posterior edge. Adipose fin well developed and originated near caudal fin. Caudal forked and upper lobe slightly longer than lower. Lateral line present and complete.

Head 26.3% SL and 21.9% TL. Height 21.3% SL and 17.7% TL. Eye 10.5% HL (Galib, 2008).

Fin formula: D. I/7; P1. I/9-10; P2. I/5; A.12-13 (Rahman, 1989).

Maximum length and weight: Maximum length reported 186 cm (Day, 1879), 24 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964), 94 cm (Rahman, 2005) and 55 cm (Galib, 2008).

Rahman (1989) recorded 5 Kg fish from Sylhet district of Bangladesh.

Habitat and niche: Bottom living fish. Commonly found in freshwater and brackish water (Bhuiyan, 1964). Some common habitats are rivers, khals, canals, beels, ponds, lakes, ditches, inundated fields, reservoirs etc. (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000; Rahman, 1989). Recorded from Chalan Beel (Galib et al., 2009).

Breeding: Build nest during reproduction and guard as well normally breeds before the onset of the monsoon (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Economic importance and marketing: Used as food fish in Bangladesh. Its reported that 78 g liver of this fish gives 6.07 g of dull reddish yellow oil (Bhuiyan, 1964). This fish has good market demand and always marketed in fresh condition.



Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, p. 59.

Day F. 1869. On the fishes of Orissa – Part I. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1869 ( 2): 296-310.

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.

Rahman AKA. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 322-323.

Rahman AKA. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. xviii -263.

Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran, 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. II, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 547-548.


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Long-whiskered catfish, Sperata aor (Hamilton, 1822)

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Roknuzzaman Nayan

Student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. Email: nymphish10@gmail.com. More...

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