Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Cypriniformes (Carps)
Superfamily: Cyprinoidea
Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps)
Subfamily: Rasborinae (= Danioninae)
Genus: Salmophasia
Species: S. acinaces

Chela argentea Day, 1867
Chela diffusa (Jerdon, 1849)
Leuciscus acinaces Valenciennes, 1844
Oxygaster argentea (Day, 1867)
Pelecus diffusus Jerdon, 1849
Salmostoma acinaces (Valenciennes, 1844)

Common/local names
English: Silver razorbelly minnow
Bangladesh: Chela (চেলা)
India: Chaya-vellache  and Vellachee-cundee (Tamil Nadu) and Sampaj (Karnataka) (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Distributions: Bangladesh (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and India (Hooghly river, Poona, Bhavani river and Cauvery river systems (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

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

Morphology: Body elongate, compressed and ventral profile more convex than that of the dorsal profile. Mouth oblique and directed somewhat upwards. Maxilla reaches to below anterior margin of eye and lower jaw with a rudimentary symphysial process. 12 to 22 short close set gill rackers on lower arm of first arch.

Dorsal fin originates from above or slightly behind of anal fin. Pectorals slightly larger than head. Pelvic originates nearer to anal origin than to pectoral origin. Scales large and pectorals and pelvics with axillary scales. Lateral line slightly curve or concave, with 45-48 scales (Rahman, 1989 and 2005); 42-46 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Head 4.5-4.7 in standard, 6.0 in total length, height 4.7-4.9 in standard, 5.8-6.2 in total length. Eye 3.8 in head, snout 1.0, interorbital 1.4 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Silvery with a bright lateral band (which fades after death). Anal and caudal fins edged black (Rahman, 1989 and 2005; Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Fin formula:
D. 10 (3/7); P1. 12; P2. 8;  A. 19-20 (2-3/17) (Rahman,  1989 and 2005)
D iii 7; A ii-iii 14-17; P i 14; V i 8 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum lengths: 8.2 cm Rahman (1989 and 2005) and 15 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Habitats: Streams and canals of Meghna drainage, also recorded from Dakatia river of Bangladesh  (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

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



Cuvier G and Valenciennes A (1844) Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome dix-septième. Suite du livre dix-huitième. Cyprinoïdes. Histoire naturelle des poissons. 17: i-xxiii + 1-497 + 2 pp., Pls. 487-519.

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.

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

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.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 79-80.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, p. 96.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 1, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, p. 321.


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Silver razorbelly minnow, Salmophasia acinaces (Valenciennes, 1844)

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Roni Chandra Mondal

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

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