Lepturacanthus savala   (Cuvier,  1829) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Mya Than Tun

Size: Maximum 100 cm SL; common to 70 cm SL.

Color: In fresh specimens, body steely blue, with metallic reflections; tapering part white. Margin of anus pale; usually, margin of dorsal fin membrane white; tip of both jaws black; inside of opercle and anterior part of shoulder girdle, pale black.

Body extremely elongate and strongly compressed, ribbon-like, tapering to a point (caudal tapering part very long). Snout long, contained 2 to 2.5 times in head length; mouth very large with a dermal flap at tip of each jaw; 2 or 3 (mostly 3) fangs with barbs and 2 small forward directed canine teeth present in upper jaw, anteriormost fang very long, coming out through a small slit on ventral side of lower jaw (when mouth is tightly closed); a pair of fangs (usually without barbs) present at tip of lower jaw; eye small, its diameter contained about 7 to 9 times in head length and slightly longer than suborbital space; lower hind margin of gill cover concave. A single, long-based, dorsal fin with 3 or 4 spines and 110 to 120 soft rays; anal fin reduced to small spinules (about 75) breaking through skin, the anteriormost fairly long, its origin situated beneath 36th to 39th dorsal fin ray; pectoral fins slightly shorter than snout, with 1 spine and 10 soft rays; pelvic and caudal fins absent. Lateral line running nearer the ventral than the dorsal contour of the body.

Breeds in late summer to rainy season.

Synonym (s)
Trichiurus savala Cuvier, 1829
Trichiurus armatus Gray, 1831
(Junior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Small Headed Ribbon Fish (English)
• Savalani Hair Tail (English)
• Wagti
• Silver Ribbon Fish (English)
• Patti (Gujarati)
• Pambole (Kannada)
• Bale (Konkani)
• Karuppusavala (Malayalam)
• Karupputhalayan (Malayalam)
• Vellasavala (Malayalam)
• Vellathalayan (Malayalam)
• Thalayan (Malayalam)
• Vellithalayan (Malayalam)
• Baia (Marathi)
• Bala (Marathi)
• Chavalai (Tamil)
• Mattachavalai (Tamil)
• Olavalai (Tamil)
• Kothisavallu (Telugu)
• Nadippussavallu (Telugu)
• Peddasavallu (Telugu)
• Savala (Telugu)
• Yellasavallu (Telugu)
• Karthigaivalai (Tamil)
• Small Headed Hairtail (English)
• Savala
• Ribbon Fish
• Bagga
• Savalai
• Savalai Hairtail
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, marketed fresh or frozen, dried and salted)

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Small fishes and crustaceans (mainly prawns and species of Setipinna, Anchoviella, Trichiurus and Harpodon nehereus)


• West Bengal, Kiagoria INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• Maharashtra, Satpati beach INDIA
• Maharashtra, Palghar INDIA
• Maharashtra, Uran Khadi INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika INDIA
• Maharashtra, Amba Estuary INDIA
• Maharashtra, Vashishti Estuary INDIA (Record: 11/1989)
• West Bengal, Hugli-Matla Estuary INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• West Bengal, Sunderbans INDIA
• Orissa Coast INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Karnataka, Mysore Coast INDIA
• Gujarat Coast INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Ghole (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• West Bengal INDIA
• Orissa INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh INDIA
• Gujarat, Off Kandla INDIA (Record: 1986-1987)
• Off South West Coast INDIA (Record: 01/1962-12/1968) (Depth: 10-75 mts)
• Maharashtra, Mumbai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Rameswaram, Thangachimadam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Panaikulam INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Off Visakhapatnam (Lat: 17.73) (Long: 83.55) INDIA (Record: 04/1989-03/1990) (Depth: 50 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada Coast INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Gujarat, Veraval Coast INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam INDIA
• South West Coast INDIA

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Page last updated on:2012-01-17

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