You are on page 1of 6

Classification and

Morphological Characteristics


Grouping of fishes and their morphological character are an important

tool for study of classification and taxonomy and also provide information

about the fishes and their distribution in different environmental conditions.

Taxonomic study of the fishes also helps in habitat and association between

tho. two species. Nelson (1976) stated that, fish includes a heterogeneous

group of animals, which are having enormous types and diversity in their


Mystus seenghala are called as 'sykes' due to the presence of barbels.

Mystus seenghala belongs to family Bagridae and live in freshwater such as

rivers, ponds etc. The genus Mystus was first time described by Gronovius in

1763. There are seven species of genus Mystus known t6 dccur in Indian

region viz. M. seenghala, M. aor, M. tengra, M. vittatus, M. bleekeri, M. mendoda

and M. cavasius.

The systematic position of Mystus seenghala according to Nelson

(1984) are given below-

Phylum - Chordata
Sub-Phulum - Vertebrata

Class - Teleostomi

Superclass - Gnathostomata

Subclass Crossopterygii

Order - Siluriformes

Family - Bagridae

Genus - Mystus

Species - Seenghala

The species of M. Seenghala was first describe by Day (1878) as

Macrones seenghala (Fishes of India P. 444, PL XCIX Fig.l), later in 1968,

Srivastava termed the fish as 'MYSTUS SEENGHALA' in his book 'Fishes of

eastern Uttar Pradesh' (P. 79, Fig. 50).

Common Names

English Tengra, mystus

Assam Tinggaray, Singorah

U.P. Tengna, Kuttarah

Bihar Tengara

West Bengal Tengra

Punjab Tingarah

Body of Mystus seenghala is elongated, compressed, naked (without

scales) covered with bony plates. Mouth is long and their cleft in narrow. Four

pair of barbels found, maxillary barbels are longer than nasal barbels and

reached beyond the hind margin of dorsal fin. Eyes are small and their

diameter ranged between 0.3 to 1.4 cm. The number of branchiostegal rays

was counted between 2 to 4. Caudal fin ray counted between 13-21 in this

study. Dorsal spines are weaik, anteriorly rugose and posteriorly indistinctly

serrated and there are 8-9 spines in present experiment. Pectoral spine is

stronger than dorsal and extended to the ventral fins. A large pear shaped air

bladder present. Upper jaw is short than lower jaw.


The fish is brownish in colour along its back, silvery white on the side,

and beneath and a round black spot, at the posterior end of base of adipose

dorsal fin. Dorsal, pectoral, caudal and anal fins are brown in colour. In the

survey of M. Seenghala it was observed that the colour on the side of the body

was slightly changed when compare between the fish of different reservoirs.

The colour of the sides of the body ranged for silvery white to dull white

depending upon the habitat.

Key to Order

Body is naked, jaws with teeth, pectoral fin with its outermost ray are

modified into an osseous spine.

Key to family

Nostril wide a part, teeth on roof of mouth, dorsal and pectoral spine is


Key to Genera

1. Intermediate shield absent in between the occipital process and basal

bone of dorsal fin. Four pairs of barbels. Gill opening very wide. Teeth

present on palate.


2. Pelvic fin rays 7-8, barbels three pairs. Strong dorsal and pectoral

spine, an adipose fin. Teeth are strong and present an palate.


Key to species (According to Day)

1. Branchiostegal rays 10, four pairs of barbels. Median groove on head

does not reach the base of occipital process, which later reaches the

basal bone of the dorsal.

M. vittatus.

2. Branchiostegal rays 6.

M bleekeri

3. Short maxilarly barbel. Head, is 5-1/4 to 5-1/2 of total length. Median

groove on head reach the base of occipital process, which last reaches

the basal bone.

M. <xor

4. Four pairs of barbels, maxillary barbies long than nasal barbels.

M. seenghala.