Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Osteoglossiformes
(Bony tongues) > Notopteridae
(Featherbacks or knifefishes)
Etymology: Notopterus: Greek, noton = back + Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335). More on author: Pallas.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 6.0 - 6.5; dH range: 3 - 8; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 24°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672); 35°N - 10°S
Asia: Indus, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Krishna, Cauvery, and other river basins in southern India; Irrawaddy, and Salween; Meklong, Chao Phraya, Mekong and virtually all coastal river basins of peninsular Thailand and Malaysia; Sumatra and Java. Has never been reported in Borneo and is not present in the Red River basin of Tonkin (North Viet Nam).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 15 - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7050); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4832)
soft rays: 97 - 111. Distinguishable by its plain brown adult coloration and the convex or only slightly concave dorsal head profile; juveniles (<5 cm SL) with dark bars on the whole body (Ref. 27732); preopercular scale rows 6-8 (Ref. 7431); silvery-white with numerous fine grey spots on body and head (Ref. 4832).
Found in clear streams and enters brackish waters (Ref. 4832). Adults inhabit standing and sluggish waters of lakes, floodplains, canals and ponds (Ref. 12693). Undertake localized lateral migrations from the Mekong River to floodplains during the flood season and back to the mainstream or other permanent water bodies during the dry season (Ref. 37770). Common in tanks throughout the greater parts of India. Feed on insects, fish (Ref. 12693), crustaceans and some young roots of aquatic plants (Ref. 6459). Active during twilight and night. Colonize and breed seasonally during rainy days and migrates back to permanent waters in dry season (Ref. 12693). Breeding takes place in stagnant or running waters in the rainy season. Eggs are laid in small clumps on submerged vegetation. A female measuring 21-25 cm usually lays 1,200-3,000 eggs. The fish is relished both in fresh and dried state. Soup made from it is reported to be given to people with measles (Ref. 7431). Of high economic importance as food fish in South and Southeast Asia to Borneo and Sumatra and taken by all types of small-scale fishing gears (Ref. 57235).
Spawning occurs at night (Ref. 1672).
Roberts, T.R., 1992. Systematic revision of the old world freshwater fish family Notopteridae. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwat. 2(4):361-383. (Ref. 7431)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0010 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00589 (0.00449 - 0.00772), b=3.08 (3.00 - 3.16), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (51 of 100) .