Systematic position (Nelson 2006)
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cypriniformes (Carps)
Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps)
Subfamily: Rasborinae (=Danioninae)
Genus: Chela
Species: C. cachius

Cachius atpar (Hamilton, 1822)
Chela anastoma (Swainson, 1839)
Chela atpar (Hamilton, 1822)
Cyprinus atpar Hamilton, 1822
Cyprinus cachius Hamilton, 1822
Laubuca atpar (Hamilton, 1822)
Leuciscus anastoma Swainson, 1839
Leuciscus atpar (Hamilton, 1822)
Leuciscus cachius (Hamilton, 1822)
Paradanio elegans Day, 1867
Perilampus atpar (Hamilton, 1822)
Perilampus cachius (Hamilton, 1822)
Perilampus macropodus Jerdon, 1849
Perilampus psilopteromus McClelland, 1839

Common/local names
English: Silver hatchet chela and Silver hatchet
Bangladesh: Pata chela (পাতা চেলা), Chela (চেলা), Chap chela (চাপ চেলা) and Kas khaira (কাশ খাইরা)
India: Lauputi (Assam); Kachni and Chela (West Bengal); Kachni (Bihar); Morriah (Punjab); Bonkuaso (Orissa) and Sonukli (Maharashtra) (Talwar and Jhingran 1991).

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

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

Morphology: Body elongate, deep and compressed with slightly oblique mouth. Body depth 3.2-4.6 times in standard length (Talwar and Jhingran 1991). Lateral line complete and curved downwards. 51-56 (Talwar and Jhingran 1991) scales on lateral line.

Body color translucent, shining brilliant silver. Light olive on back and whitish below. A greenish longitudinal band from level of dorsal fin. Fins are yellowish.

Fin formula:
D. 9 (2/7); P. 10; P2. 7; A. 23-24 (2/21-22) (Rahman 1989 and 2005)
D ii 7-8; A ii-iii 19-23; P i 8-11; V i 5-6 (Talwar and Jhingran 1991)
D. 9 (2/7); P. 10; V. 7; A. 22-24 (2/21-22) (Shafi and Quddus 2001)

Maximum lengths: 5 cm (Rahman 1989 and 2005), 6 cm (Talwar and Jhingran 1991) and 12 cm (Shafi and Quddus 2001).

Habitats: Flowing waters, in plains and submontane regions (Talwar and Jhingran 1991). Inhibits surface layer of canals, beels, oxbow lakes and rivers (Shafi and Quddus 2001).

Spawning: Breeds freely in ponds, tanks and small streams (Talwar and Jhingran 1991).

Fishery info: Used for ornamental purposes in the aquaria (Talwar and Jhingran 1991). Caught by small meshed cast, drag and Veshal nets (Shafi and Quddus 2001).



Day F (1867) On the fishes of the Neilgherry Hills and rivers around their bases. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1867 (2): 281-302.

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.

Jerdon TC (1849) On the fresh-water fishes of southern India. (Continued from p. 149.). Madras Journal of Literature and Science 15(2):302-346.

McClelland J (1839) Indian Cyprinidae. Asiatic Researches 19(2): 217-471, Pls. 37-61.

Swainson W (1839) The natural history and classification of fishes, amphibians, & reptiles, or monocardian animals. Spottiswoode & Co., London. Nat. Hist. & Class. i-vi + 1-448.


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Silver hatchet chela, Chela cachius (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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