Swamp barb: Puntius chola
Swamp barb: Puntius chola

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

Barbus chola (Hamilton, 1822)
Barbus tetrarupagus (McClelland, 1839)
Barbus thermalis (Valenciennes, 1844)
Barbus titius (Hamilton, 1822)
Barbus unimaculatus (Blyth, 1860)
Capoeta chola (Hamilton, 1822)
Cyprinus chola Hamilton, 1822
Cyprinus titius Hamilton, 1822
Leuciscus thermalis Valenciennes, 1844
Puntius tetrarupagus (McClelland, 1839)
Puntius titius (Hamilton, 1822)
Systomus tetrarupagus McClelland, 1839
Systomus unimaculatus Blyth, 1860

Common/local names
English: Swamp barb and Chola barb
Bangladesh: Chala punti (চলা পুঁটি), Chela punti (চেলা পুঁটি), Kirundi punti (কিরুন্দি পুঁটি) and punti (পুঁটি)
India: Chal punti, Kerrundi, Katcha-karawa, Siddhari, Chindu, Thicker, Pittha-kerrundi, Chaddu-paddaka, Pakki, Karoon, Putti-kendai, Poovalli and Dhodakarsa (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Distributions: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar  (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Conservation status: Not Threatened in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Deep and compressed body with less convex of its lower profile than upper. Terminal small mouth contain a pair of maxillary barbels. Dorsal fin inserted equidistant between snout and base of caudal. The last unbranched ray of dorsal fin is osseous, fairly strong and smooth. Pectoral as long as head excluding snout. 26-28 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991); 24-26 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) scales on lateral line.

Body silvery with golden opercle. A dark blotch on the base of caudal fin (on 24-26 scales on lateral line) (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). A black blotch present at 2nd to 5th ray of dorsal and also one or two rows of dark spots visible along its centre. During breeding season a red band appear from the along side of the end of opercle to the end of forked of caudal fin. Head 3.2-3.6 in standard, 4.0-4.7 in total length. Height 2.6-3.0 in standard, 3.3-3.9 in total length. Eye 3.6-4.2, snout 1.0, interorbital 1.5-1.6 (Rahman, 1989).

Fin formula:
D. 10-11 (2-3/8);  P1. 15; P2. 9; A. 7-8 (2-3/5) (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D iii 8; A ii 5; P i 14; V i 8 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).
D. 11(3/8); P. 15; V. 9; A. 7(2/5); C. 19 (Shafi and Quddus, 2001)

Maximum lengths: 13.8 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005), 12 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991) and 12.5 cm (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Sexing: Orange-tinted anal and pelvic fins in male and all fins in female are quite clear (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Habitats: Inhabits rivers, canals, khals, haors, ponds and inundated fields of Bangladesh (Rahman, 2005). Abundantly found in beels, oxbow lakes, rivers and canals (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). Very common in the coastal belt of Kerala and Tamil Nadu (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).



Blyth E. 1860. Report on some fishes received chiefly from the Sitang River and its tributary streams, Tenasserim Provinces. Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal v. 29 (no. 2): 138-174.

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. 128-129.

Rahman AKA. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 146-147.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA. 2001. Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 123-124.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG. 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 1, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 263-264.


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Swamp barb, Puntius chola (Hamilton, 1822)

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Md. Foyzul Hassan Fahad

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

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