Desmodema polystictum   (Ogilby,  1898) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Khan, M.M

Colors: Specimens less than 10 cm are silvery in color with many dark spots.

Body strongly compressed laterally, dorsal spines nil, soft rays 121; post-anal portion of body narrowing into a whip-like tail. Seven pterygophore before first neural spine and one or two pterygophore between first and second neural spines. First pterygophore closely applies to back of skull, no predorsal bones. Caudal fin well-developed, 4–10 unbranched rays parallel to axis of tail. All caudal rays borne on last ural centrum. No ventral caudal lobe. Fin rays with a lateral row of small spines, spines weak or absent on posterior pelvic rays, middle caudal rays and pectoral rays. Each dorsal ray anterior to elongated tail portion of body with a single laterally directed stout spine on either side of the base. Lateral line ends at caudal base, lateral-line scales with a pair of spines. Skin with cartilaginous tubercles and pierced by numerous pores which seems to be pores of the lateral line which is in agreement with Walters. Teeth restricted to one to four in each pre-maxilla and two enlarged, recurved fangs on mandible, one on either side of symphysis. Rakers of upper limb with few teeth. Pseudobranch well developed.

Synonym (s)
Trachipterus misakiensis Tanaka, 1908
Trachipterus polystictus (Ogilby, 1898)
Trachipterus woodi Smith, 1953
Trachypterus jacksoniensis polystictus Ogilby, 1898

Common Name (s)
• Polka-dot Ribbonfish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Pelagic
Prey:  Small fish, squids, octopus, and crustaceans


• Tamil Nadu, Tharuvaikulam INDIA (Record: 16/09/2010)

Literature Source(s)
  • Zacharia, PU and Kannan, K (2012) First record of Polka-dot ribbonfish Desmodema polystictum (Pisces: Trachipteridae) from Indian waters Marine Biodiversity Records Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 5(8) 1-4 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-03-14

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