Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Beloniformes (Needlefishes)
Suborder: Belonoidei (= Exocoetoidei)
Superfamily: Exocoetoidea
Family: Hemiramphidae (Halfbeaks)
Subfamily: Zenarchopterinae
Genus: Zenarchopterus
Species: Z. ectuntio

Esox ectuntio Hamilton, 1822
Hemiramphus amblyurus Bleeker, 1849
Hemiramphus borneensis Bleeker, 1851
Hemirhamphus amblyurus Bleeker, 1849
Zenarchopterus amblyurus (Bleeker, 1849)
Zenarchopterus borneensis (Bleeker, 1851)
Zenarchopterus hendersoni Fowler, 1919

Common/local names
English: Ectuntio halfbeak
Bangladesh: Ek Thuita (এক ঠুইটা) and Ek Thota (এক ঠোটা)

Distributions: Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005); India (Hooghly river), Myanmar, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Borneo and Taiwan (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Conservation status: Data deficient in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Body slender and slightly compressed, tapering at both ends. Triangular part of jaw nearly twice as long as broad, lower beak 3 times as long as the upper, teeth on jaws fine.

Dorsal fin originates slightly anterior to anal fin in posterior fourth of body. 3 anterior dorsal rays thickened in males. A few anterior rays of anal fin thickened and modified in males. Caudal rounded.

Head inclusive of beak 2.0-2.3 in standard, 2.5-2.7 in total length. Height 11.0 in total length. Length of beak 5.5 in total length (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Lateral line running in the lower profile. Scales large, cycloid, about 46-48 on lateral line (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Greenish-brown with a narrow silvery lateral stripe. End of upper jaw milky white.

Fin formula:
D. 13-14; P1. 9; P2. 6; A. 10-12 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D 13-14; A 10-12; P i 9; V i 5 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum length: 15 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Habitats: Inhibits freshwaters and enters estuaries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). This fish is mainly riverine but also found in estuary mostly in Southern-Eastern districts of Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Fishery info: Of no interest to fisheries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).



Bleeker P (1849) Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van het eiland Madura, met beschrijving van eenige neiuwe soorten. Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen. 22(8):1-16.

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

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.

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. 59-60.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 74-75.

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. 737-738.


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Ectuntio halfbeak, Zenarchopterus ectuntio (Hamilton, 1822)

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Roni Chandra Mondal

Research student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. More...

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