Xenentodon cancila   (Hamilton,  1822) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: JJPhoto

Size (male): 40.0 cm TL

Body very elongate and slightly compressed. Dorsal fin inserted usually anterior to a vertical through the origin of the anal fin. Green-silvery dorsally, grading to whitish below. A silvery band with a dark margin run along the side; a series of four or five blotches (absent in young specimens) on sides between the pectoral and anal fins. Dorsal and anal fins with dark edges. Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15 - 18; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 16 - 18.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders of eggs, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Male pursues a slow-moving female and upon catching up with the female, will begin shuddering from side to side while the pair is oriented parallel to each other; the pair positions themselves close to submerged vegetation; male assumes a slight head-down position , with his anal fin curled under the female's vent; the pair begins trembling until a single large egg is released; each female produces about a dozen eggs per day; eggs hatch in about a week; no parental care. Breeds in rainy season.

Synonym (s)
Belone cancila Hamilton, 1822
(Senior synonym)
Esox cancila Hamilton, 1822
(Senior synonym)
Esox hindostanicus Falconer, 1868
(Junior synonym)
Xenentodon cancila Hamilton, 1822
(Senior synonym)
Esox indica McClelland, 1842
(Junior synonym)
Belone graii Sykes, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Xenenthodon cancila (Hamilton, 1822)

Common Name (s)
• Kakila
• Kokila (Assamese)
• Kaikka (Bengali)
• Freshwater Garfish (English)
• Garfish (English)
• Kokkumeen (Tamil)
• Vellai mooral (Tamil)
• Tokali (Marathi)
• Suia (Nepali)
• Kutramasa (Marathi)
• Chowkli (Khasi)
• Kolaan (Malayalam)
• Ngachek lawbi (Manipuri)
• Konti (Kannada)
• Kankely (Bengali)
• Kokkare (Kannada)
• Needle Fish (English)
• Kakhya
• Thona
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Finfishes, benthic crustaceans and insects


• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA (Record: 1985-1987)
• Orissa, Chilika INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Mohana (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• Bihar, Dighwara INDIA (Record: 1952)
• West Bengal, Bangaon, Ichhamati River INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Kerala, Periyar INDIA (Record: 2001-2003)

Literature Source(s)
  • Menon, AGK (1999) Checklist: Fresh water fishes of India Occasional paper no. 175 ZSI, Kolkata 366 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Pandey, KC and Tewari, SK (1984) SEM studies on Bucephalopsis karvei Bhalerao, 1937, an intestinal parasite of the fish, Xenentodon cancila (Ham.) Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences Animal Sciences 93(6) 527-534
  • Aditya, G and Raut, SK (2001) Food of the snail, Pomacea bridgesi, introduced in India Current Science Indian Academy of Sciences 80(8) 921-923 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Karmakar, AK and Datta, AK (1988) On a collection of fish from Bastar district, Madhya Pradesh Occasional paper no 98 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata 18264 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Johnsingh, AJT (2001) The Kalakad-Mundanthurai tiger reserve: A global heritage of biological diversity Current Science Indian Acadamy of Sciences 80(3) 378-388 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Rama Rao, KV (1995) Pisces Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 483-506 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Nandi, NC; Das, SR; Bhuinya, S and Dasgupta, JM (1993) Wetland faunal resources of West Bengal, I., north and south 24-Parganas districts Occasional paper no 150 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI 18264
  • Fauna of Tripura (part-1) vertebrates ZSI, Kolkata 365 pp
  • (2001) Sanctuary Asia natural history species: Species checklist: Reptiles Sanctuary Asia Sanctuary Magazine Available at - http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/resources/speciechklist/reptile.php
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Satapathy, D and Panda, S (2009) Fish atlas of Chilika Chilika Development Authority, Bhubaneswar 74 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 1 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents
  • Manna, B and Goswami, BCB (1985) A check-list of marine and estuarine fishes of Digha, West Bengal, India Mahasagar- Bulletin of the National Institute of Oceanography NIO, Goa 18(4) 489-499 Available at - http://nicmas.nio.org/Mahasagar/Mahasagar_V-18/Mahasagar_18%284%29_489.pdf
  • Karamchandani, SJ (1957) On the Occurrence of Association of carp fry in the fry-collection nets and the destructive role played by predatory fish Indian Journal of Fisheries The Editorial Committee, India Journal of Fisheries for the Minister of Food and Agriculture Government of India 4(1) 46-61 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Das, SR and Nandi, NC (2004) Oxbow lake environment and management of Ichhamati river basin, West Bengal Journal of Environment and Sociobiology Social Environmental and Biological Association, Kolkata, India 1(1&2) 81-90 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Sarkar, UK; Kapoor, D; Paul, SK; Pathar, Ak; Basheer, VS; Deepak, PK; Srivastava, SM and Tyagi, LK (2007) Fish Biodiversity in the water bodies of samaspur bird sanctuary Uttar Pradesh: towards developing a freshwater aquatic sanctuary Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 104(1) 51-54 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Kurup, BM; Kumar, TGM and Radhakrishnan, KV (2006) Fish and fisheries of Periyar Lake, Kerala Indian Journal of Fisheries Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Kochi, India 53(2) 153-166 Available at - http://epubs.icar.org.in/ejournal/index.php/IJF/article/download/6966/2691

Page last updated on:2012-03-16

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