Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Clupeiformes (Herrings)
Suborder: Clupeoidei
Family: Pristigasteridae (Longfin herrings)
Subfamily: Pelloninae
Genus: Pellona
Species: P. ditchela

Ilisha hoeveni (Bleeker, 1852)
Ilisha hoevenii (Bleeker, 1852)
Pellona hoeveni Bleeker, 1852
Pellona hoevenii Bleeker, 1852
Pellona natalensis Gilchrist & Thompson, 1908

Common/local names
English: Indian Pellona, Big-eyed Herring and Indian Pellona herring
Bangladesh: Choukka (চৌখ্যা)

Geographical distributions: Indo-west Pacific (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991), Bay of Bengal, eastern ocean of India, Northern Australia, east Africa and north Taiwan (Shafi and Quddus, 2003),  Indo-west Pacific from western Gulf of Oman to Durban, South Africa including Madagaskcar, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Southern Australia (Siddique et al., 2007).

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

Morphology: Body compressed and moderately deep. 18-19 pre-pelvic and 8-9 post-pelvic and total 26-28 scutes present in belly (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Maxilla extends to below the middle of the orbit. A toothed bone present between the pre-maxillary and middle of the maxillary. Occipital ridges posteriorly converge. Eyes large and mouth oblique . Adipose eyelids present. Minute teeth present in a single row on jaws. Lower jaw projecting. Dorsal fin originates from the midpoint of the body (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991) or origin nearer to the snout tip than to the caudal. Anal originate almst behind the dorsal and pelvic is somewhat as long as eye. Caudal fin forked. Gill raker longer than filaments and 23-26 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) or 22-27 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991) in number present on lower part of first arch. Scales present with upper and lower vertical striae slightly overlapping each other at centre of scales.

Head 3.4-3.9 in standard, 4.5-5.0 in total length. Height 2.5-3.0 in standard, 3.3-4.8 in total length. Eye 2.6-3.0; Snout and interorbital less than eye-diameter. Lateral line contains 40-45 scales (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Body silvery with a burnished lateral band and upper edge of the dorsal fin slightly dark.

Fin formula:
D. 17-18; P1. 17; P2. 7; A. 39-42 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; Siddique et al., 2007)
D. iii-iv 13-16; A. iii 31-36; P. i 15; V. i 6 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum lengths: 8.1 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and 16 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991; Huda et al., 2003).

Habitats: Marine, coastal, but entering mangrove swamps and penetrating estuaries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Enters tidal rivers (Rahman.1989 and 2005), Coastal waters and seas (Shafi and Quddus, 2003), Make school in water, ascends tidal rivers and mangrove swamp  and occurs in the estuaries of Bay of Bengal (Siddique et al., 2007). Available in the Sundarbans (Huda et al., 2003).

Food and feeding: Planktivorous (Shafi and Quddus, 2003); Feeds on small planktonic organisms, especially diatoms (Siddique et al., 2007).

Ecological role: Control water pollution by consuming aquatic plants and detritus (Siddique et al., 2007).

Fishery information: Caught mainly with purse seine, beach seine and set bag nets (Siddique et al., 2007). Contributes to artisanal catches of clupeoids in Bangladesh estuaries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991); Regarded as an excellent bait in the Tuna fishery and also used to make fish ball and fish bait (Rajan, 2003)




Bleeker P (1852) Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Singapore. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 3:51-86.

Gilchrist JDF and Thompson WW (1908) Descriptions of fishes from the coast of Natal. Annals of the South African Museum 6 (2): 145-206.

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. 66.

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. 254-255.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 278-279.

Rajan PT (2003) A Field Guide to Marine Food Fishes Of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata. pp. 260.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA (2003) Bangaposhagorer Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of the Bay of Bengal) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. p. 126.

Siddiqui KU, Islam MA, Kabir SMH , Ahmad ATA, Rahman AKA, Haque EU, Ahmed ZU, Begum ZNT, Hasan MA, Khondker M and Rahman MM (eds) (2007) Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh, Vol. 23. Freshwater Fishes. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka. P. 17.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. I, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 124-125.


Visited 696 times, 1 visits today | Have any fisheries relevant question?
Indian Pellona, Pellona ditchela Valenciennes, 1847

Visitors' Opinions

S.M. Abu Naser

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.