Long whiskers catfish: Mystus gulio
Long whiskers catfish: Mystus gulio

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii( Ray-fined fish)
Order: Siluriformies(Catfishes)
Family: Bagridae (Bagrid catfishes)
Genus: Mystus
Species: M. gulio

Common/local names
English: Long whiskers catfish, Long-whiskered catfish and Gulio catfish
Bangladesh: Nuna tengra (নুনা টেংরা), Guli tengra (গুলি টেংরা), Gula (গুলা), Guillya (গুইল্লা), Tengra (টেংরা) and Penchgula (পাচগুলা)
India: Nuna-tengra (West Bengal); Kala-tenguah (Bihar); Kontia (Orissa); Naikeluthi, Kattai-keluthi and Uppang-kelettee (Tamil Nadu); Vella-koori and Kada-kelithi (Kerala) and Singati (Maharashtra) (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Aoria gulio (Hamilton, 1822)
Aspidobagrus gulio (Hamilton, 1822)
Bagrus albilabrus Valenciennes, 1840
Bagrus gulio (Hamilton, 1822)
Macrones gulio (Hamilton, 1822)
Pimelodus gulio Hamilton, 1822
Pseudobagrus gulio (Hamilton, 1822)

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

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

Morphology: Head depressed. Body elongated and compressed. Its upper surface rough and granulated. Barbels four pairs. Maxillary barbels extend to end of pelvic fins. Mouth terminal. Dorsal spine strong and serrated. Adipose fin small and caudal fin forked and caudal peduncle equal at height.

Body color bluish-brown on head and back (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Brown on back (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)). Dull white below. Mandibular barbels somewhere black and somewhere white (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)).

Fin formula:
D. I/7; P1. I/8-9; P2. 6; A. 12-15 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005))
D I 7; A iii-iv 9-10; P I 8- 9; V i 5 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)
D. I/7; P. I/8-9; V. 6; A. 12-15 (4/9-11); C. 17 (Shafi and Quddus, 2001)

Maximum lengths: 19.5 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005), 40 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991; Huda et al., 2003) and 45 cm (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Habitats: Firstly it’s a brackish water fish that enters and lives in fresh water fish also enters tidal rivers of Bangladesh and in the Bay of Benglal (Rahman, 1989). Inhibits estuaries and tidal rivers and lakes; ascends freshwater and often enters sea (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Found in canals, beels, haors, oxbow lakes, rivers, and estuaries (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). Available in Meghna river (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and the Sundarbans (Huda et al., 2003) of Bangladesh.

Food and feeding: Juveniles and adult feed on debris, zooplanktons, zoobenthos, other benthic invertebrates, fish eggs and larvae (Siddique, 2007).

Fishery info/importance: Used as food fish in Bangladesh. Controls water pollution by consuming aquatic detritus (Siddique, 2007). Very common in the Gangetic estuary, Chilka lake and Kerala brackish waters of India (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Caught by cast, drag, seine nets and hooks (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).



Cuvier G and Valenciennes A (1840) Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome quatorzième. Suite du livre seizième. Labroïdes. Livre dix-septième. Des Malacoptérygiens. Histoire naturelle des poissons. 14: i-xxii + 2 pp. + 1-464 + 4 pp., Pls. 389-420.

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. 76.

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. 204-205.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 226-227.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA (2001) Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 187-188.

Siddique KU (ed.) (2007) Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh Freshwater fishes Vol. 23, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 300 pp.

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. 560-561.


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Long whiskers catfish, Mystus gulio (Hamilton, 1822)

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Nipa Chaki

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

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