Chanos chanos   (Forsskal,  1775) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, JE

Size: 180 cm SL (male); 124 cm SL (female).

Max. published weight: 14.0 kg.

Color: Greenish grey above, sides and below silvery. Dorsal, caudal and anterior rays of anal and inside of pectorals and ventrals dark.

Body is torpedo-shaped without scutes along belly. Mouth is small without teeth. Upper jaw is slightly projecting without supramaxillae. Lower jaw is with a small symphysial tubercal at the tip, fitting it into a notch. Head 3.2-3.4 in standard length, 3.9-4.7 in total length. Depth of body 4.0-4.5 in standard length, 5.4-5.6 in total length. Eye subcutaneous, 3.4-3.7 in head, about 0.7 in snout and 1.2 in interorbital space. No gular plate. Head naked. Axillary scales present above and below pectorals and ventrals. Maxillaries broad without supplemental bone. Mandibles with a symphysial tubercle. Dorsal origin midway between tip of snout and base of caudal. Ventrals below hind half of dorsal. Caudal fin is deeply forked. Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13 - 17; Anal spines: 2; Anal soft rays: 8 - 10; Vertebrae: 46.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Spawns in clear shallow waters above a bottom of sand or coral and at a distance of not more than 30 km from the shore. Females spawn up to 5 million eggs which hatch in about 24 hr. The larvae seek out clear coastal and estuarine waters warmer than 23°C with 10-32 salinity and abundant phytoplankton. Spawning and fertilization take place at night.

Max. reported age: 15 years.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Juveniles and subadults return to sea where they mature sexually. Spawns only in fully saline water. Larvae eat zooplankton; juveniles and adults eat cyanobacteria, soft algae, small benthic invertebrates, and even pelagic fish eggs and larvae. Broodstocks can be raised and spawned in captivity to produce larvae in the hatchery. Can thrive and grow in water as hot as 32° C.

Synonym (s)
Butirinus argenteus Jerdon, 1849
(Junior synonym)
Chanos arabicus Lacepede, 1803
(Junior synonym)
Chanos chloropterus Valenciennes, 1847
(Junior synonym)
Chanos cyprinella Valenciennes, 1847
(Junior synonym)
Chanos indicus (van Hasselt, 1823)
(Junior synonym)
Chanos lubina Valenciennes, 1847
(Junior synonym)
Chanos mento Valenciennes, 1847
(Junior synonym)
Chanos mossambicus (Peters, 1852)
(Junior synonym)
Chanos nuchalis Valenciennes, 1847
(Junior synonym)
Chanos orientalis Valenciennes, 1847
(Junior synonym)
Chanos salmoneus (Forster, 1801)
(Junior synonym)
Chanos salmonoides Gunther, 1879
(Ambiguous synonym)
Cyprinus palah (Cuvier, 1829)
(Junior synonym)
Leuciscus palah Cuvier, 1829
(Junior synonym)
Leuciscus salmoneus (Forster, 1801)
(Junior synonym)
Lutodeira chanos (Forsskal, 1775)
(Senior synonym)
Lutodeira chloropterus (Valenciennes, 1847)
(Junior synonym)
Lutodeira indica van Hasselt, 1823
(Junior synonym)
Lutodeira mossambicus Peters, 1852
(Junior synonym)
Lutodeira salmonea (Forster, 1801)
(Junior synonym)
Mugil chanos Forsskal, 1775
( Senior synonym)
Mugil salmoneus Forster, 1801
(Junior synonym)
Mugile chani Forsskal, 1775
(Ambiguous synonym)
Chanos chanos Misra, 1976
Channo chanos (Forsskal, 1775)

Common Name (s)
• Milkfish (English)
• White Mullet (English)
• Humeen (Kannada)
• Hoomeenu (Kannada)
• Mekkunu (Mahl)
• Poomeen (Malayalam)
• Thullu (Tamil)
• Paalmeen (Tamil)
• Palai-meen (Tamil)
• Tulu-candul (Tamil)
• Pal-kendai (Tamil)
• Paal-kendai (Tamil)
• Palmeen (Tamil)
• Polah Bontah (Telugu)
• Pu-meen (Telugu)
• Pallabontha (Telugu)
• Seba Khainga
• Gholasi (Konkani)
• Palmeen
• Milk-fish
• Milk Fish (English)
• Sani
• Sanu
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquaculture, gamefish, bait. Marketed fresh, smoked, canned and frozen.)
Cultured:  Yes

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic, Estuarine, Coastal
Prey:  Larvae eat zooplankton, juveniles and adults eat cyanobacteria, soft algae, small benthic invertebrates and even pelagic fish eggs and larvae.
Predator:  Bony fishes like Ketengus typus (Ariidae), Mystus gulio (Bagridae), Caranx hippos (Carangidae), Lates calcarifer (Centropomidae), Chirocentrus dorab (Chirocentridae), Butis butis (Eleotridae), Elops hawaiensis (Elopidae), Thryssa mystax (Engraulididae), Glossogobius giuris (Gobidae), Lactarius lactarius (Lactariidae), Lutjanus erythropterus (Lutjanidae), Megalops cyprinoides (Megalopidae), Plotosus canius (Plotosidae), Filimanus heptadactylus (Polynemidae), Micropogonias undulatus (Sciaenidae), Rastrelliger kanagurta (Scombridae), Scomberomorus commerson (Scombridae), Epinephelus tauvina (Serranidae), Sphyraena jello (Sphyraenidae), Terapon jarbua (Theraponidae)


• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram Mangrove INDIA (Record: 04/1980-03/1982)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• West Bengal, Sundarbans INDIA
• Kerala, Ponnani Estuary INDIA (Record: 03/1997-02/1999)
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Red Sea
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Orissa, Rambha INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Pondicherry, Pondicherry mangrove (Lat: 11.76) (Long: 79.82) INDIA (Record: 01/2002-12/2003)
• Pondicherry, Pondicherry mangrove (Lat: 11.89) (Long: 79.8) INDIA (Record: 01/2002-12/2003)
• Kerala, Vembanad Kol INDIA
• Kerala, Valapattanam River (Lat: 11.25) (Long: 75.36) INDIA
• Goa, Salcete INDIA
• Orissa, Rushikulya Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary INDIA (Record: 09/2001-05/2002)
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Diglipur INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chidiya Tapu INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Ramanathapuram INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA (Record: 1948-1950)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Palk Bay INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Gujarat INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Adyar Backwaters INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Cooum Estuary (Lat: 13.16) (Long: 80.26) INDIA

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Page last updated on:2012-02-27

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