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

Image copyrights: Devarapalli, P.

Size: Maximum 12 cm; common 6 to 10 cm.

Color: An oval black blotch on the upper half of the spinous dorsal fin, from the third to the seventh spines (it is sometimes very faint), and a dark brown transverse blotch across the nape of the neck. Pectoral posteriorly black at its base. A narrow yellow band passes from above the eye to the centre of the caudal fin.

Length of head 4 1/3, of caudal 4 1/3, height of body 2 2/3 in the total length. Eyes - diameter nearly 2 3/4 in length of head, 3/4 of a diameter from end of snout, and 1 apart. Body oval, dorsal and abdominal profiles equally convex, snout pointed, not obtuse except just at its anterior extremity. Interorbital cavity nearly twice as long as broad. A pair of well developed spines at the anterior-superior angle of the eye, supraorbital edge finely serrated. The distance from the external sides of the bases of the orbital spines equal 1/2 the length of the head. The maxillary reaches to below the first third of the eye, lower jaw very concave inferiorly. Lower limb of preopercle finely serrated. Teeth in a single fine row in either jaw. Fins dorsal spines moderately strong and compressed, the second equals 4/9 (sometimes 1/3) of the height of the body, the third is strongly serrated in its lower half, whilst the fourth is in its lower fourth. Pectoral as long as the head excluding the snout. Ventral reaches 2/3 of way to the anal. Second anal spine 2/5 of height of body, the third is strongly serrated in its lower half. Caudal forked. Free portion of tail as high at its base as it is long. Scales- extended over body, but not on breast of chest. Lateral line- in from 58 to 64 distinct tubes and not quite reaching to the base of the caudal fin. Body silvery with a golden gleam. Head naked with nuchal spine. Protracted mouth pointing downward. Scales minute. 2nd dorsal spine less than 1/3 of body depth. Dorsal spines (total): 8-8; dorsal soft rays (total): 16-16; anal spines: 3; anal soft rays: 14.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Equla brevirostris Valenciennes, 1835
Equula brevirostris Day, 1876
Leiognathus brevirostris Talwar and Kacker, 1984
Equula brevirostris Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1835
Equula brevirostris Valenciennes, 1835
(Senior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Shortnose Pony Fish (English)
• Kap (Marathi)
• Karal
• Shortnose Ponyfish
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Marketed fresh and dried salted, used for fishmeal)

Habitat:  Demersal, Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Diatoms, copepods, nematodes and polychaetes
Predator:  Bony fishes (Euthynnus affinis, Saurida elongata)


• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Kerala, Ponnani Estuary INDIA (Record: 03/1997-02/1999)
• Tamil Nadu, Palk Bay INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Palk Bay INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Off Visakhapatnam (Lat: 17.73) (Long: 83.55) INDIA (Record: 04/1989-03/1990) (Depth: 50 mts)
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds.) (1998) Fauna Of Mahanadi estuary, Orissa Estuarine ecosystem series no 3 ZSI, Kolkata 1-218 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • (2001) Fauna of Godavari estuary, Andhra Pradesh Estuarine ecosystem series 4 ZSI, Kolkata 1-166 Available at - ZSI, Pune
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  • 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
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  • Fischer, W and Whitehead, PJP (1974) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Eastern Indian Ocean - Fishing Area 57 and Western Central Pacific - Fishing Area 71 FAO, Rome 2 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/e9163e/e9163e00.htm
  • Rajaram, R; Srinivasan, M; Khan, SA and Kannan, L (2004) Ichthyofaunal diversity of great Nicobar Island, Bay of Bengal Journal of Indian fisheries association 31 13-26 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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
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Page last updated on:2012-01-16

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