Ilisha melastoma   (Bloch & Schneider,  1801) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Mya Than Tun

Size: Maximum 18 cm; common 14 to 16

Color: Brownish on back, sides and below silvery white. Fins hyaline; dorsal and caudal with dark border.

Compressed, abdominal profile slightly more convex than dorsal. Head 3.5 in standard length, 4.4 in total length. Depth of body 3 in standard length, 3.7 in total length. Snout 4.2 in length of head, much shorter than diameter of eye. Eye large, lower jaw projecting. Maxillary reaching below second third of eye. A ligament between pre-maxillary and maxillary. Small teeth present in jaws, palatines, pterygoids and tongue. Pectoral fin slightly shorter than head without snout. Base of anal about 2.8 in standard length. Scutes 30 of which 9 are behind ventrals. Origin of dorsal fin midway between tip of snout and base of caudal fin. Anal fin origin below hind rays of dorsal fin. Origin of ventral fin midway between pectoral fin base and origin of anal fin. Swim bladder with two tubes passing back in the muscles on either side of haemal spines.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: 17; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: 42; number of rays in the pectoral fin: 16; number of scale rows along the midside of body from the upper corner of operculum to the midbase of caudal fin in the absence of lateral line: 47; number of horizontal scale rows usually counted from origin of the dorsal fin to the lateral line and from anal origin to the lateral line: 14; Gill raker count: 9+1+22.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Ilisha motius (Hamilton - Buchanan, 1822)
Ilisha indices (Swainson, 1839
Pellona indices (Swainson, 1839)
Clupea indicus Swainson, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Clupea melastoma Bloch & Schneider, 1801
(Senior synonym)
Ilisha brachysoma (Bleeker, 1852)
(Ambiguous synonym)
Ilisha ditchoa (Valenciennes, 1847)
(Junior synonym)
Ilisha indica (Swainson, 1839)
(Junior synonym)
Ilisha melastoma (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Senior synonym)
Ilisha micropus (Valenciennes, 1847)
(Junior synonym)
Pellona brachysoma Bleeker, 1852
(Junior synonym)
Pellona ditchoa Valenciennes, 1847
(Junior synonym)
Pellona micropus Valenciennes, 1847
(Junior synonym)
Platygaster verticalis Swainson, 1838
(Junior synonym)
Clupea melastoma Cuvier, 1829
Ilisha melastoma Jones, 1969
Pellona dussumieri Weber and de Beaufort, 1913
Pellona megaloptera Day, 1878
Clupea melastoma Schneider, 1801
Pellona motius (Hamilton-Buchanan) : Day, 1878
Pellona indica (Swainson) : Day, 1878
Pellona brachysoma Bleeker: Day, 1878
Ilisha brachysoma Misra, 1976
Ilisha motius Misra, 1976
Ilisha indica Misra, 1976
Ilisha melastoma Whitehead, 1973

Common Name (s)
• Kannan mathi (Malayalam)
• Indian herring (English)
• Matthi (Malayalam)
• Jangarloo (Telugu)
• Ditchoee (Telugu)
• Indian Ilisha (English)
• Thattakuthuva (Tamil)
• Gobar (Marathi)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, marketed fresh or frozen, dried and salted)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Plankton (probably small crustaceans)


• Orissa, Chilika Lake (Lat: 19.77) (Long: 85.33) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Kerala, Ponnani Estuary INDIA (Record: 03/1997-02/1999)
• Lakshadweep, Kalpeni INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Lakshadweep Sea
• South Coast INDIA
• Bay of Bengal
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary INDIA (Record: 09/2001-05/2002)
• Lakshadweep, Kalpeni INDIA
• Orissa, Puri INDIA (Record: 1987-2006)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 13.75) (Long: 94.25) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 6.75) (Long: 92.16) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Abbaasi, SA (1997) Wetlands of India-Ecology and Threats Discovery Publishing House,New Delhi II 1-182 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Tun, MT (2001) Marine fishes of Myanmar (pelagic and demersal) U Than Tun, Director-General, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Myanmar 276 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Rama Rao, KV (1995) Pisces Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 483-506 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Bijukumar, A and Sushama, S (2000) Ichthyofauna of Ponnani estuary, Kerala Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 42(1&2) 182-189 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Whitehead, PJP (1974) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Eastern Indian Ocean - Fishing Area 57 and Western Central Pacific - Fishing Area 71 FAO, Rome 1 Available at -
  • Brinda, S; Srinivasan, M and Balakrishnan, S (2010) Studies on Diversity of Fin Fish Larvae in Vellar Estuary, Southeast Coast of India World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences IDOSI Publications 2 (1) 44-50 Available at -
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -
  • Ammini, PL; Khambadkar, LL and Augustine, SK (2008) A brief report on the marine fisheries of Puri, Orissa Marine Fisheries Information Service Technical and Extension Series CMFRI 195 6-10 Available at -
  • Whitehead, PJP (1972) A synopsis of the clupeoid fishes of India Journal of the marine biological association of India The marine biological association of India 14(1) 160-256 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Roy, SD; Rajan, PT and Soundararajan, S (2006) Marine food fishes of Andaman and Nicobar islands Fishing Chimes 25(10) 108-110 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-24

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