Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perches)
Suborder: Gobioidei
Family: Eleotridae (Eleotrididae; sleepers)
Subfamily: Eleotrinae
Genus: Eleotris
Species: E. fusca

Culius fuscus  (Forster, 1801)
Culius niger (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)
Eleotris cavifrons Blyth, 1860
Eleotris fornasinii Bianconi, 1855
Eleotris klunzingerii Pfeffer, 1893
Eleotris niger Quoy & Gaimard, 1824
Eleotris nigra Quoy & Gaimard, 1824
Poecilia fusca Forster, 1801

Common/local names
English: Dusky sleeper
Bangladesh: Kuli (কুলি) and Budh Bailla (বুধ বাইলা)

Distributions: India and west Pacific (Talwar and Jhingran, 2001); India, Malay Archipelago and Africa (Day, 1958).

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

Morphology: Body elongated, anteriorly cylindrical, posteriorly compressed with depressed and pointed head. Anterior nostrils tubular near margin of the snout and posterior are rounded slits and present at the anterior margin of the eye. Lower jaw is prominent. Villiform teeth present with 3-4 rows in both jaws, outer row enlarged, in the lower jaw inner row enlarged. Snout, cheek, opercle and interorbital are naked and contains mucous canal. Numerous short papillae rows between main vertical cheek rows developing with increased size; anteriormost and third papillae row under eye extend below longitudinal row. A single strong spine present at through downward and forward at the angle of the preopercle. Large and truncate tongue present. Gill membrane broadly united with isthmus. Scales small, ctenoid on the body, but cycloid scales on head; head scales above between and behind eyes, on cheek and opercle; snout and below eyes naked. Lateral line contains 59-61 scales where 30-45 rows before the first dorsal. 13 rows across caudal peduncle below posterior base of second dorsal. Both dorsal and anal fin are lower than the body. Pectoral as long as the head excluding the snout but pelvics are of similar length. Caudal is obtusely rounded and shorter than head.

Blackish or brownish in color. Vertical fins are reddish hue. Fins barred with spots. A diffuse spot at upper base of pectoral behind gill-cover.

Head 3.0-3.3 in standard and 3.5-3.8 in total length. Height 4.0-4.5 in standard, 5.0-5.6 in total length. Eye 5.0-6.0; snout 1.0-1.2 and interorbital 1.8-2.2 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).

Fin formula:
D1. V1; D2 1/8;  P1. 17; P2. 6; A. 1/8 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D1. V1. D2. I 8-9; A I 8; P. 15-18; V. 15 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum lengths: 0.83 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and 17 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Habitats: Inhabits estuaries (Talwar and Jhingran) ; Marine and estuarine, enters river (Rahman, 1989 and 2005); brackish to freshwaters, including hot springs (Munro, 2000); lives in coastal region (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). Distributed in the river Meghna and Dakatia near Chadpur (Rahman, 2005)

Fishery info: Of no interest to fisheries.



Bianconi GG (1855) Specimina zoologica mosambicana quibus vel novae vel minus notae animalium species illustrantur. Bononiae. 1850-1870. Specimina zoologica mosambicana quibus vel novae vel minus notae animalium species illustrantur.: 1-363, 48 col pls.

Blyth E (1860) Report on some fishes received chiefly from the Sitang River and its tributary streams, Tenasserim Provinces. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 29(2): 138-174.

Day F. 1958. The Fishes of India: being a Natural History of the fishes known to inhabit the seas and freshwater of India., Burma and Ceylon. Reproduced in 1958 by William Dowson andSons, London. p. 313.

Forster (1801) Bloch ME and JG Schneider (1801) M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae iconibus cx illustratum. Post obitum auctoris opus inchoatum absolvit, correxit, interpolavit Jo. Gottlob Schneider, Saxo. Berolini. Sumtibus Auctoris Impressum et Bibliopolio Sanderiano Commissum. M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae.: i-lx + 1-584, Pls. 1-110.

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

Munro ISR (2000) The marin and freshwater fishes of Ceylon. Dept. of External affairs, Canberra. p. 230.

Pfeffer GJ (1893) Ostafrikanische Fische gesammelt von Herrn Dr. F. Stuhlmann in Jahre 1888 und 1889. Jahrbuch der Hamburgischen Wissenschaflichen Anstalten 10: 131-177, Pls. 1-3.

Quoy JRC and JP Gaimard (1824) Description des Poissons. Chapter IX. In: Freycinet, L. de, Voyage autour du Monde…exécuté sur les corvettes de L. M. “L’Uranie” et “La Physicienne,” pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820. Paris. Description des Poissons. Chapter IX. In: Freycinet, L. de, Voyage autour du Monde…: 192-401.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 287-288

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, p. 313.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA (2001) Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. p. 287

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.975- 976


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Dusky sleeper, Eleotris fusca (Forster, 1801)

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S.M. Abu Naser

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

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