Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii  (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfishes)
Family: Schilbidae (Schilbeid catfishes)
Genus: Ailiichthys
Species: A. punctata

Synonym: Ailia punctata (Day, 1872)

Common/local names
English: Jamuna ailia
Bangladesh: Kajuli (কাজুলী) and Baspata (বাশপাতা).

Distribution: Bangladesh, India and Pakistan (Bhuiyan, 1964).

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

Morphology: The body is elongated and deeply compressed. Mouth sub-inferior and upperjaw slightly longer than that of lower jaw. Upper surface of head covered with thin layer of skin and upper region slightly concave. A narrow adipose lids present in eyes. Barbels 4 pairs. Dorsal and pelvic fins absent. Adipose dorsal minute. Pectoral spine slender; nearly as long as head and comperativly weak. Caudal fin forked and lower lobe slightly longer than that of upper lobe.

Silvery in colour. Upper surface of head faint to black. A large black spot present in the upper edge of dorsal and anal base yellowish.

Fin formula:
P. I/12; A. 76-90; C. 17 (Bhuiyan, 1964)
D. 0; P1. I/12; P2. 0; A. 77-84 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).
D. 0; P I/12; A 70-90; C. 17 (Shafi and Quddus, 2001)

Maximum lengths: 10 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964; Talwar and Jhingran, 1991), 11 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005), 10-11 cm (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000) and 10.2 cm (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Habitat: Found in freshwater bodies. Some common habitats are rivers, beels, haors, canals and streams (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000). Occurs in rivers throughout Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Canals, beels, haor, baors and rivers; in inundated rice and jute fields during monsoon (Bhuiyan 1964; Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

According to Bhuiyan (1964) this fish is abundantly seen in the beels, streams, cannals and flooded jute fields in the rainy season of Bangladesh.

Importance: Used as food fish in Bangladesh (Bhuiyan, 1964).

Fishery information: Cast net, drag net and dharma net are used to catch this fish (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Remarks: According to some scientists, Ailiichthys punctata and Ailia coila are not different species but they are same (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).



Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 74-75.

Day F. 1872. On the freshwater siluroids of India and Burmah. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1871 (pt 3): 703-721 [1-19].

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, p. 181.

Rahman AKA. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, p. 201.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA. 2001. Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 208-209.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG. 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. I, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, p. 594.


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Jamuna ailia, Ailiichthys punctata Day, 1872

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Roknuzzaman Nayan

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

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