Leiognathus berbis   (Valenciennes,  1835) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 11-13.5 cm.

Color: In alcohol specimens silvery, back gray or more or less yellowish-brown, with irregular dark spots and rather broad more or less angulated lines, some serially arranged, they easily fade in old specimens. Snout with a narrow brownish band, top of spinous dorsal with a brown marking, fins hyaline. Silvery, abdomen more so than the back, which has light grey, crowded zig-zag marks or patches extending on the sides to slightly below the lateral line, commencing anteriorly immediately behind the head and extending posteriorly up to upper angle of caudal base. Snout thickly dotted black, small black dots scattered all over the abdomen and head. Dorsal, pectorals and ventrals colourless. Inner side of pectoral base dotted black as also the lower half of edge of gill opening covered by the opercular flap. Caudal dusky, especially the uppermost and lowermost rays and the edges of lobes.

Not much compressed, elongate, elliptical, dorsal and ventral profile nearly equally convex, back not elevated. The height relatively strongly increasing with growth, in young 3.7 [4.2], in old specimens 2.3 in length, 2.85 in length with caudal. Head 3.7 [4.2], in old 3.5 [4.4] in length, pointed, its rostro-occipital profile ascending in a nearly straight line and continued without interorbital or occipital concavity in the profile of back. Eye about thrice in head, almost equal to interorbital space and to somewhat pointed snout, with thick lips. Orbital rim smooth. Interorbital space bordered on each side by the smooth oblique supraorbital ridges, which are continued as outer borders of the triangular nuchal spine. The enclosed interorbital space is slightly depressed and crossed by a longitudinal ridge, ending level with the hindborder of the eye. After an inter space it is continued as median ridge of the nuchal spine, which is slightly longer than diameter of eye. Two small approximate spines behind nostrils, getting nearly obsolete in old age. Praeoperculum with rounded angle, its lower margin straight, finely serrated. Snout, when protracted, directed downwards. Mandibula nearly not concave, ascending with an angle of 35 at most, maxillary reaching below frontborder of eye or somewhat behind it. Commencement of gape of mouth opposite lower half of eye. Teeth minute, in a single series in jaws. Scales of rather medium size, deciduous, not wanting on breast, lateral line terminating near end of dorsal or slightly behind it. Dorsal spine slender, the second, third and fourth subequal, the second equal to or, in adult, longer than half height of body, the second small spine nearly half that height. Pectorals about equal to length of head, without snout, longer than ventrals. Caudal emarginate, the lobes somewhat acute.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Scomber equula Forsskal, 1775
Equula berbis Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1835
Equula oblonga Bleeker, 1852
Equula gracilis Bleeker, 1854
Equula oblonga Gunther, 1860
Leiognathus oblongus Bleeker, 1863
Equula oblonga Day, 1865
Equula oblonga Klunzinger, 1871
Equula oblonga de Beaufort, 1913
Equula oblonga Day, 1888
Equula berbis Klunzinger, 1884
Equula oblonga M. Weber, 1913
Leiognathus berbis Fowler, 1928
Equula berbis Valenciennes, 1835
(Senior synonym)
Leiognathus oblongus (non Valenciennes, 1835)
(Misapplied name)
Scomber equula minimus Forsskal, 1775
(Ambiguous synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Berber Ponyfish (English)
• Lined Ponyfish (English)
• Undulated Pony-fish (English)
• Karal
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, marketed fresh and dried salted; also used as fishmeal.)

Habitat:  Demersal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Zoobenthos, small crustaceans and bivalves


• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Palk Bay INDIA
• Palk Bay INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Palk Bay, Othathalai 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)

Literature Source(s)
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1931) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Print times, Pataudi house, Daryaganj, New Delhi 6 448 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at - http://tnenvis.nic.in/PDF/coastal%20data.pdf
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 2 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at - http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/sereport/ser/stdy_coral.pdf
  • James, PSBR (1975) A systematic review of the fishes of the family Leiognathidae Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Marine Biological Association of India 17 (1) 138-172 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/1445/1/James_138-172.pdf
  • Murty, VS (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/571/1/Bulletin_10.pdf
  • 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 - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf
  • Sujatha, K (1995) Finfish constituents of trawl by-catch off Visakhapatnam Fishery Technology Society of Fisheries Technologists 32(1) 56-60 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Dominant Fish Groups Occurring in Indian Coasts Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-04

Back to Search