Leiognathus equulus   (Forsskal,  1775) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, JE

Size: 22-28 cm.

Color: Body silvery; caudal peduncle with a small brown saddle; anal fins yellowish; dorsal fin transparent. In adults; back greyish, abdomen silvery, faint washed bands scarcely seen on sides. Axil of pectoral grey, posterior margins of caudal lobes dusky, margin of soft dorsal black, pectorals, anal and ventrals colourless.

Moderately compressed, dorsal profile more convex than ventral profile, strongly elevated near commencement of dorsal fin, more so in old specimens, thence running in an almost straight line to caudal peduncle. Height 1.7-1.8 in length [2-2.5 with caudal], head 3 or slightly more [about 4 with caudal], its rostro-occipital profile curved with a concavity before nostrils and an other in the occipital region. Eye slightly more or less than thrice in head, about equal to blunt snout, which has thick lips, and to interorbital space. Above front border of eye two spines, from the inner one runs a smooth curved supra-orbital ridge obliquely and hindwards, converging with that of the other side, both enclosing the interorbital concavity, which is longer than broad. Thence the ridges diverge on occiput and are finally continued as outer borders of the created nuchal spine, which is in old specimens equal to one and a half diameter of eye and curved adequate to curvature of back. Commencement of gape of mouth below lower border of eye. Maxillary reaching vertical through inner border of iris. Mandibulary strongly concave. Praeoperculum with an obtuse angle, its lower margin slightly concave and serrated. Mouth, when protracted, directed downwards. In jaws a single series of close set setiform teeth. Scales of moderate size, as diaphanous, thin plates also on breast, wanting only on a triangular space above pectorals, lateral line less curved than dorsal profile, terminating at base of caudal, with about 60 sensory tubes. Dorsal spines moderately strong, the second more than twice in height of body, the following gradually decreasing in size, the second anal spine as long as head without snout. Pectorals somewhat longer than head without snout, ventrals half length of head, reaching anal or nearly so, with a strong spine and a large axillary scale-like process. Caudal emarginate, the lobes rounded, its peduncle somewhat longer than high. Deep-bodied with short rounded snout and large eyes. Strongly arched back. Head is naked with nuchal spine. Protracted mouth pointing downward. Dorsal spines (total): 8-8; dorsal soft rays (total): 15-16; anal spines: 3; anal soft rays: 14-15.

Breeds in rainy season.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Equlla edentula Day, 1876
Leiognathus equulus Talwar and Jhingran, 1991
Scomber equlla Forsskal, 1775
Equula caballa Valenciennes, 1835
(Junior synonym)
Equula edentula (Bloch, 1795)
(Junior synonym)
Equula ensifera Cuvier, 1829
(Junior synonym)
Equula totta Cuvier, 1829
(Junior synonym)
Leiognathus argenteus Lacepede, 1802
(junior synonym)
Leiognathus edentulus (Bloch, 1795)
(Junior synonym)
Leiognathus equula (Forsskal, 1775)
(Senior synonym)
Leiognathus obscura Seale, 1901
(Junior synonym)
Scomber edentulus Bloch, 1795
(Junior synonym)
Scomber equula Forsskal, 1775
(Senior synonym)
Equula caballa Ruppell, 1838
Equula ensifera Bleeker, 1845
Equula serrulifera Richardson, 1848
Equula caballa Cantor, 1850
Equula ensifera Bleeker, 1852
Equula edentula Gunther, 1860
Leiognathus edentulus Bleeker, 1863
Equula ensifera Kner, 1867
Equula caballa Klunzinger, 1880
Equula edentula Macleary, 1881
Equula equula Klunzinger, 1884
Equula edentula Vinciguerra, 1890
Leiognathus edentulum Jordan and Evermann, 1903
Leiognathus edentulum Fowler, 1905
Leiognathus edentula Evermann and Seale, 1907
Equula edentula Gilchrist and Thompson, 1908
Leiognathus caballa Jordan and Richardson, 1908
Equula edentula de Beaufort, 1913
Leiognathus equula Jordan and Starks, 1917
Leiognathus equulus Chaudhuri, 1923
Liognathus equula Barnard, 1927
Leiognathus equula Fowler, 1928

Common Name (s)
• Common Ponyfish (English)
• Greater Ponyfish (English)
• Tanka Chandee (Oriya)
• Kurichi (Kannada)
• Guruku (Kannada)
• Mullan (Malayalam)
• Soorokoo-nam-kare (Tamil)
• Sudupunam Karal (Tamil)
• Kalikaral (Tamil)
• Namakaral (Tamil)
• Karaipodi (Tamil)
• Kaaral (Tamil)
• Karai (Tamil)
• Karah (Telugu)
• Bara Tanka Chandi
• Karal
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquaculture, marketed fresh or dried, also used to be fish meal for duck and chicken food)
Cultured:  Yes

Habitat:  Demersal, Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Zoobenthos, zooplankton, small crustaceans, small fishes, polychaetes and algae, Chiefly copepods, also cirrepede larvae, lamellibranch larvse, gastropod larvae and phytoplanktonic organisms
Predator:  Bony fish (Pomatomus saltator)


• Orissa, Mahanadi Estuary (Lat: 20.32) (Long: 86.75) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake (Lat: 19.77) (Long: 85.33) INDIA
• Orissa, Jambu Island (Lat: 20.42) (Long: 86.72) INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA (Record: 1985-1987)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Arabian Sea INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 58-68 mts)
• Kerala INDIA
• Bay of Bengal (Lat: 16.51) (Long: 82.36) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 58-68 mts)
• Bay of Bengal (Lat: 8.81) (Long: 76.3) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 58-68 mts)
• Kerala, Off Kochi INDIA (Record: 03/1954-07/1955)
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Rameswaram INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Kilakarai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pamban INDIA
• Orissa INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA (Record: 1948-1950)
• Tamil Nadu, Rameswaram INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Gujarat, Medi-Sinthodi Creek (Lat: 23.45) (Long: 68.48) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Gujarat, Jakhau-Babber Creek (Lat: 23.5) (Long: 68.6) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Gujarat, Sangi-Kharo Creek (Lat: 23.28) (Long: 68.51) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 13.75) (Long: 94.25) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 6.75) (Long: 92.16) INDIA

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Page last updated on:2012-01-30

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