Tenualosa ilisha   (Hamilton,  1822) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Mya Than Tun

Size: Max length 60.0 cm SL (male/unsexed); common length 36.0 cm SL (male/unsexed); common length 42 cm TL (female)

Weight: 680-2,490.0 g

Color: Color in life, silver shot with gold and purple. Fins hyaline. A dark blotch behind gill opening, followed by a series of small spots along flank in juveniles.

Belly with 30 to 33 scutes. Distinct median notch in upper jaw. Gill rakers fine and numerous, about 100 to 250 on lower part of arch. Dorsal spines (total): 0-0, Dorsal soft rays (total): 18-21, Anal spines: 0, Anal soft rays: 18-23.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water or substratum egg scatterers. Spawns throughout the year, but peaking once. Breeds mainly in rivers, upstream to about 50 km or even over 1000 km as in the Ganges (younger fishes may breed in the tidal zone of rivers). The main breeding season is during the southwest monsoon, with a shorter season from January to February or March.

Synonym (s)
Clupanodon ilisha Hamilton, 1822
(Senior synonym)
Clupea ilisha (Hamilton, 1822)
(Senior synonym)
Clupea palasah Cuvier, 1829
(Junior synonym)
Hilsa ilisha (Hamilton, 1822)
(Senior synonym)
Macrura ilisha (Hamilton, 1822)
(Senior synonym)
Tenualosa illsha (Hamilton, 1822)

Common Name (s)
• River Shad (English)
• Hilsa Shad (English)
• Ilish (Assamese)
• Hilsa (Bengali)
• Ilisha (Bengali)
• Ilishmach (Bengali)
• Hilsa (English)
• Chakshi (Gujarati)
• Chaksi (Gujarati)
• Chaski (Gujarati)
• Palla (Gujarati)
• Hilsa (Hindi)
• Mullasu (Kannada)
• Palasa (Kannada)
• Palia (Kannada)
• Paliya (Kannada)
• Polasa (Kannada)
• Paliyah (Malayalam)
• Paluva (Malayalam)
• Valava (Malayalam)
• Chaksi (Marathi)
• Pala (Marathi)
• Palla (Marathi)
• Palva (Marathi)
• Ilish (Oriya)
• Ilisha (Oriya)
• Jodi (Oriya)
• Dolum (Tamil)
• Karuva Ullam (Tamil)
• Oolum (Tamil)
• Sevva (Tamil)
• Ullam (Tamil)
• Palasa (Telugu)
• Palasah (Telugu)
• Palia (Telugu)
• Polasa (Telugu)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, marketed fresh or frozen, dried and salted or canning)
Cultured:  Yes

Habitat:  Pelagic, Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Detritus, zoobenthos, zooplankton, finfish, phytoplankton, bony fish
Predator:  Anguilla bengalensis bengalensis


• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• West Bengal, Ganges River Estuary (Lat: 7.21) (Long: 93.78) INDIA
• West Bengal INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh INDIA
• Orissa, Puri INDIA (Record: 1987-2006)
• Myanmar INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Daniel, BA; Molur, S and Walker,S (1998) Report of the workshop conservation assessment and management plan for selected invertebrates of southern India Zoo Outreach Organization, Coimbatore, India 25569 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Subba Rao, NV and Sastry, DRK (2005) Fauna of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kuchchh (Gujarat) ZSI 79 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Jawad, LA; AlMukhtar, M.A and Ahmed, HK (2004) The relationship between haematocrit and some biological parameters of the Indian shad, Tenualosa ilisha (family Clupeidae) Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 27(2) 47-52 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Akther, M; Alam, A; D Silva, J; Bhuiyan, AI; Bristow, GA and Berland, B (2004) Goezia bangladeshi n. sp. (Nematoda: Anisakidae) from an anadromous fish Tenualosa ilisha (Clupeidae) Journal of Helminthology 78(2) 105-185 Available at - Zoological Records (Bangladesh marine)
  • David, MA and Simon, CR (2003) Movement patterns of the tropical shad hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha) inferred from transects of 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios in their otoliths Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 60(11) 1376-1385 Available at - Zoological Records (Bangladesh marine)
  • AlBaz, AF and Grove, DJ (1995) Population biology of sbour Tenualosa ilisha (Hamilton-Buchanan) in Kuwait Asian Fisheries Science 8 239-254 Available at - Zoological Records
  • Blaber, SJM; Milton, DA; Gary, F and Simon, RC (2003) New insights into the life history of Tenualosa ilisha and fishery implications American Fisheries Society Symposium 35 223-240 Available at - Zoological Records (Bangladesh)
  • Nurul, ASM; Rahman, MA; Haldar, GC and Mazid, MA (2001) Studies on age and growth and exploitation level of Tenualosa ilisha in the coastal region of Chittagong, Bangladesh Journal of the Inland Fisheries Society of India 33(2) Available at - Zoological Records (Bangladesh)
  • (2004) AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation University of California at Berkeley, USA Available at - http://www.amphibiaweb.org/
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • 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 - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents
  • Ramani, K; Ammini, PL; Srinivasan, J; Najeemudeen, SH; Beena, MR; George, KP; Seynudeen, MB; Subbaraman, G; Anandan, K; Khambadkar, LL; Augustine, SK; Pugazhendi, D; Rudhramurthy, N; Subramani, S; Seetharaman, S; Batcha, HK and Sankaralingam, S (2010) An overview of marine fisheries in India during 2007 Marine Fisheries Information Service CMFRI, Kochi 203 1-14 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/3454/1/3.pdf
  • 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 - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Clupeidae Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-02

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