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Mystus cavasius – Diagram | Habit and Habitat, Identifying Characteristics, Economic and Ecological Importance

The common name of Mystus cavasius is “Gangetic Mystus”, “Gulsha”, “Golsha tengra”,”Kabasi tengra” etc. In this article on Mystus cavasius, we will learn 1. Systematic Position, 2. Habit and Habitat, 3. Identifying Characters, 4. Ecological Importance, 5. Economic Importance.


Systematic Position

Phylum: Chordata

  Subphylum: Vertebrata

    Class: Osteichthyes

      Order: Siluriformes

        Family: Bagridae

          Genus: Mystus

             Species: Mystus cavasius


Habit and Habitat

1. They are freshwater catfish.

2. The Ganges and Brahmaputra river drainages in the northeastern part of the Indian subcontinent.

3. Countries including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, etc.

4. They live in lakes, rivers, canals, haors, ponds, paddy fields, streams, etc.

5. They are omnivorous and sometimes predatory.

6. They feed on plankton, algae, protozoa, shrimps, insects, worms, mollusks, crustaceans, and other smaller fishes.


Identifying Characters of Mystus cavasius

mystus cavasius



fig: Mystus cavasius


1. Body elongated and somewhat compressed.

2. Body length is 20-25 cm.

3. Body is scaleless, skin is smooth.

4. Four pairs of barbels are present around the mouth.

5. Maxillary barbels reach up to the caudal fin in adult age but in young specimens, maxillary barbels do not extend beyond the anal fin.

6. Nasal barbels are as long as the head.

6. Lateral line present. It is complete and mid-lateral in position.

7. Dorsal fin has spines and spinelet which are weak.

8. Pectoral spines have 11-12 serrations on their posterior edge.

9. Adipose fin present.

10. Six types of fins are present. They are dorsal, pectoral, pelvic, anal, caudal and adipose.

11. Caudal fin is forked.

12. The upper lobe of the caudal fin is longer.

13. Dorsal side of the body is greyish in color and the ventral side is yellowish-white in color.

14. Mouth is the largest terminal aperture located on the head.

15. A pair of nasal pores are present.

16. The head is conical in shape; the occipital process is narrow.

17. A black spot is present behind the operculum.

18. Males have well-developed urinogenital papilla. The papilla becomes very prominent during the breeding season.

19. Dorsal, adipose, and caudal fins shaded with melanophores.

20. Fin formula: D. 1/7; P1. 1/8; P2. 6; A. 11


Ecological importance

1. They are the part of freshwater ecosystem.

2. They are omnivorous and sometimes insectivorous predatory fish.

3. They feed on algae, protozoa, shrimps, insects, mollusks, and smaller fishes.

4. They show high feeding activity in the monsoon, post-monsoon and winter season and show poor feeding activity during the summer season.

5. They are also a good food source for bigger monster fishes, snakes, birds, or other aquatic animals.

6. They are a good food source for humans and other animals.


Economic Importance of Mystus cavasius

1. It has high market demand with a high market price due to its good taste and a good amount of protein in the flesh.

2. They are a good protein source for humans.

3. Mystus cavasius is being cultivated by fish farmers.

4. They have medicinal value and are also used as bait for fishing.

5. Dried Mystus cavasius also has a great demand in the market.

6. Nowadays many native fishkeepers take them as pets and put them in their aquarium.



——————- THE END ———————

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