Black carp: Mylopharyngodon piceus
Black carp: Mylopharyngodon piceus

The black carp was introduced in Bangladesh from China in 1983 by Department of Fisheries (DoF) (Rahman, 2007; Khaleque, 2002; Galib and Mohsin, 2011). It is also known as snail carp (Galib and Mohsin, 2011). Major objectives of introduction were snail control and aquaculture (Rahman, 2007; Khaleque, 2002; Galib and Mohsin, 2011). This species is native to China (Khaleque, 2002).

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cypriniformes (Carps)
Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows and carps)
Genus: Mylopharyngodon
Species: M. piceus

Barbus tonkinensis Sauvage, 1884
Leucisculus fuscus Oshima, 1920
Leuciscus aethiops Basilewsky, 1855
Leuciscus dubius Bleeker, 1864
Leuciscus piceus Richardson, 1846
Myloleuciscus aethiops (Basilewsky, 1855)
Myloleuciscus atripinnis Garman, 1912
Myloleucus aethiops (Basilewsky, 1855)
Mylopharyngodon aethiops (Basilewsky, 1855).

Morphology: Body elongated and compressed laterally with complete lateral line. Entire body with hardy scales (Galib and Mohsin, 2011). Dorsal half is more blackish than ventral half. Various body measurements are: SL 76.86% of TL, FL 84.38% of TL, BD 21.88% of TL, HL 18.13% of TL, CP 11.25% of TL and Eye 17.24% of HL (Galib and Mohsin, 2011).

Fin formula: D. 8; P1. 16; P2. 9; A. 9; C. 16 (Galib and Mohsin, 2011).

Food and feeding: Individual of less than 15 cm size depends on plankton for its food and after reaching to a size between 20 and 30 cm, it starts taking snail, mussels etc. as food. Carnivorous fish. Generally feed at 20% of their body weight per day (Khaleque, 2002).

Breeding: Breeds in natural open waters where water current is present at sufficient rate (Galib and Mohsin, 2011). This fish attains sexual maturity in 4-5 years of age. Females are usually heavier than that of males of the same age. (Khaleque, 2002). Artificial breeding in hatcheries was reported from Central Fish Hatchry of Kotchandpur, Jhenaidha (Siddiqui and Choudhury, 1996) and many hatcheries of Jessore district (Galib, 2011; Galib and Mohsin, 2011).

Disease: Disease resistance is very high but sometimes attacked by necrosis (Siddiqui and Choudhury, 1996).

Impacts: May be used to control excess mollusks population by stocking appropriate numbers. Successful results of snail control by stocking black carp in Baluhor Baor was reported by Rahman (2007).

The establishment of the this species in the wild could have serious adverse impacts, due to predation on native mollusks species including threatened and endangered species and fingernail calm populations, a primary food source of migrating water fowl and fish (Rahman, 2007). Khaleque (2002) recommended that this species should not be kept more than 2 year in culture ponds.

Importance: Food fish and used as aquaculture species but not so common in north Bengal part Bangladesh (Galib and Mohsin, 2011).



Basilewsky S. 1855. Ichthyographia Chinae Borealis, Nouveaux mémoires de la Société impériale des naturalistes de Moscou, 10:215-263.

Bleeker P. 1864. Notices sur quelques genres et espèces de Cyprinoïdes de Chine. Nederlandsch Tijdschrift voor de Dierkunde, 2:18-29.

Galib SM and Mohsin ABM. 2011. Cultured and Ornamental Exotic Fishes of Bangladesh Past and Present, LAP-Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, pp. 65-66.

Galib SM. 2011. Non-traditional fish seeds for aquaculture, Bangladesh Fisheries Information Share Home (BdFISH),, retrieved on July 10, 2011.

Garman S. 1912. Pisces. In: Some Chinese vertebrates. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 40(4):111-123.

Khaleque MA. 2002. Bideshee Maachher Chas O Bebasthapana (A book on Fish Culture and Management of Exotic Fishes; in Bengali), published by Mahmuda Begum Jusi, Pallabi, 8/A Jamir Munshi Lane, Mymensingh 2200, Bangladesh, 93 pp.

Oshima M. 1920. Notes on freshwater fishes of Formosa, with descriptions of new genera and species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 72:120-135.

Rahman AKA. 2007. Exotic fishes and their impact on environment, 16th Annual General Meeting and National Conference 2007, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, 30 March, Dhaka, Bangladesh, pp.26-39.

Richardson J. 1846. Report on the ichthyology of the seas of China and Japan. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 15th meeting (1845), pp. 187-320.

Sauvage HE. 1884. Contribution a la faune ichthyologique du Tonkin. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France, 9:209-215.

Siddiqui K and Choudhury SN (eds.) 1996. Matsha – Pukure Mah Chash Manual (A Manual on Pond Pisciculture) (in Bengali), published by the National Institute of Local Government, Agargaon, Sher-E-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 606 pp.


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Black Carp, Mylopharyngodon piceus (Richardson, 1846)

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Shams Galib

Shams works in freshwater ecosystems, primarily on fish diversity in terms of their availability, and richness; he is also interested in aquatic invasive species and their impacts on ecosystem. Email: More...

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