Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Pleuronectiformes (Flatfishes)
Family: Cynoglossidae (Tonguefishes)
Subfamily: Cynoglossinae
Genus: Cynoglossus
Species: C. cynoglossus

Common/local names
English: Bengal tongue sole and Gangetic tonguesole
Bangladesh: Kukur jeeb (কুকুর জিব)

Distributions: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, through the East Indies, to the Philippines (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

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

Achirus cynoglossus Hamilton, 1822
Arelia oxyrhynchos (Bleeker, 1851)
Arelia sumatrensis (Bleeker, 1853)
Cynoglossus bengalensis (Bleeker, 1853)
Cynoglossus buchanani Day, 1870
Cynoglossus deltae Jenkins, 1910
Cynoglossus hamiltonii Günther, 1862
Cynoglossus oxyrhynchos (Bleeker, 1851)
Cynoglossus sumatranus (Bleeker, 1853)
Cynoglossus sumatrensis (Bleeker, 1853)
Icania cynoglossa (Hamilton, 1822)
Plagusia bengalensis Bleeker, 1853
Plagusia cynoglossus (Hamilton, 1822)
Plagusia oxyrhynchos Bleeker, 1851
Plagusia sumatrana Bleeker, 1853

Morphology: Body flat and tongue-shaped. Separate eyes. Scales ctenoid on both side of the body. Mouth cleft not extending beyond lateral line. Two lateral line on eyed side and 12-14 rows of scales between two lateral lines (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991; Huda et al., 2003). Caudal pointed. Pelvic developed on ventral (blind) side.

Body color brown-gray on eyed side (ocular side) with vague darker marblings; whitish ventral.

Fin formula:
D. 100-106; A. 78-84; P2. 4 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D 95-102; A 72-78; V 4; C 10 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Maximum lengths: 12 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005), 10 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991) and 20 cm (Huda et al., 2003).

Habitats: Inhibits shallow muddy and sandy bottoms of inshore areas and estuaries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Occurs in the Bay of Bengal, estuaries and rivers (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Found in Sundarbans (Huda et al., 2003). Common in the Gangetic delta (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Fishery information: Used as food fish in Bangladesh, takes both in fresh and dried conditions.



Bleeker P (1851) Over eenige nieuwe soorten van Pleuronectoïden van den Indischen Archipel. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 1:401-416.

Bleeker P (1853) Bijdrage tot de kennis der Muraenoïden en Symbranchoïden van den Indischen Archipel. Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen 25(5):1-62+ 63-75.

Day F (1870) Remarks on some of the Fishes in the Calcutta Museum.–Part I. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1869(3): 511-527.

Günther A (1862) Catalogue of the fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the Acanthopterygii, Pharyngognathi and Anacanthini in the collection of the British Muesum. Catalogue of the fishes in the British Museum. 4: i-xxi + 1-534.

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.

Huda MS, Haque ME, Babul AS and Shil NC (ed.) (2003) Field guide to finfishes of Sundarban, Aquatic resources division, Sundarban, Boyra, Khulna, Bangladesh, p. 184.

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

Jenkins JT (1910) Notes on fish from India and Persia, with descriptions of new species. Records of the Indian Museum (Calcutta) 5:123-140, Pl. 6.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 32-33.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 47-48.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 2, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 1041-1042.


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Bengal tongue sole, Cynoglossus cynoglossus (Hamilton, 1822)

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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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