Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Clupeiformes (herrings)
Suborder: Clupeoidei
Family: Clupeidae (Herrings (shads, sprats, sardines, pilchards, and menhadens)
Subfamily: Dorosomatinae (Gizzard shads)
Genus: Nematalosa
Species: N. nasus

Chatoessus altus Gray, 1834
Chatoessus chrysopterus Richardson, 1846
Chatoessus nasus (Bloch, 1795)
Clupanodon nasica Lacepède, 1803
Clupea nasus Bloch, 1795
Dorosoma nasus (Bloch, 1795)

Common/local names
English: Bloch’s gizzard shad
Bangladesh: Barang (বারাং)

Distributions: Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005); Seas of India to the Malay Archipelago and Phillippine Islands (Day, 1958). India-west pacific (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

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

Morphology: Body compressed and oblong, sometimes rather deep and depth is 2.4-2.9 in SL. Snout is prominent and obtuse, shorter than eye. Mouth small and inferior. Maxillary extends to below anterior part of eye. Lower jaw strongly flared outward. Hind edge of scales distinctly toothed and serrated. No teeth present on jaws. Gizzard like stomach present. Dorsal originates from nearer to snout than to caudal and caudal fin forked where lower lobe slightly longer. Last ray of dorsal filamentous and prolonged. About 140 gill-rakers on lower part of first arch. About 45-48 scales present in lateral line series. 17-19 before origin of dorsal. 17-18 (Rahman, 1989 and 205) or 17-20 (usually 18) (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991) scales present in prepelvic. 12-14 (Rahman, 1989 and 205) or 9-13 (usually 11) scales present in postpelvic (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991), totally 28-32 (usually 30) scutes present in abdomen region.

Body color grayish green above with steel blue reflections. Silvery color on sides and below, opercle and cheek yellow. A dark spot present behind the gill opening. Several scales on upper rows of upper half contain black dots. In fresh and live condition fins are yellowish and hyaline. Shoulder contain a black spot.

Fin formula:
D. 16-17(3/13-14); P1. 15-16; P2. 8; A. 23-24 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D.iii-v 11-14; A. ii-iv 18-23; P. i 14; V i 7 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum lengths: 24.7 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and 21 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Habitats: Bays and lagoons (Munro, 2000); Estuary and probably also river (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Found in the Bay of Bengal of Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Fishery information: Euryhaline species which is commonly found in Chikla and Hoogly estuary but it does not constitute any special fishery importance (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). It moves into the Cihkla lake from sea during January-June period (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).



Bloch ME (1795) Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische. Berlin. Naturgeschichte der Ausländischen Fische. 9: i-ii + 1-192, Pls. 397-429.

Day F (1958) The Fishes of India: being a Natural History of the fishes known to inhabit the seas and freshwater of India., Burma and Ceylon. Reproduced in 1958 by William Dowson andSons, London. 644 pp.

Gray JE (1834) Illustrations of Indian zoology; chiefly selected from the collection of Major-General Hardwicke, F.R.S., 20 parts in 2 vols. Illustrations of Indian zoology; chiefly selected from the collection of Major-General Hardwicke, F.R.S., Pls. 1-202.

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

Lacepède BGE (1803) Histoire naturelle des poissons. Histoire naturelle des poissons. 5: i-lxviii + 1-803 + index, Pls. 1-21.

Munro IS (1955) The Marine and Freshwater Fishes of Ceylon. Dept. External Affairs, Canbarra Publications. p. 29.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 255-256.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 279-280.

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): 187-320.

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. 111-112.


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Bloch’s gizzard shad, Nematalosa nasus (Bloch, 1795)

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S.M. Abu Naser

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

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