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Sperata seenghala

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII SILURIFORMES BAGRIDAE

Scientific Name: Sperata seenghala
Species Authority: (Sykes, 1839)
Taxonomic Notes: This species was described by Sykes (1839) from the Deccan region of India.  It differs from congeners in having the eye situated completely in the anterior half of the head, more precaudal vertebrae (21-23), the supraoccipital spine being shorter than the interneural shield, and the adipose-fin base being approximately equal, or only slightly longer than the dorsal-fin base (Ferraris and Runge, 1999).  Only one species of Sperata is known from the Indus River drainage, which Mirza, Nawaz and Javed (1992) described as a distinct subspecies of S. aor (Aorichthys aor sarwari).  Ferraris and Runge (1999) tentatively conclude that the Indus River material is conspecific with S. seenghala, but note that a more thorough comparison with a larger sample size is needed.  Should the Indus River material belong to a distinct species, S. sarwari would be its valid name.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-05
Assessor(s): Ng, H.H.
Reviewer(s): Allen, D.J., Vishwanath, W., Dahanukar, N. & Molur, S.
Contributor(s): Molur, S.
Justification:
Although Sperata seenghala is assessed as Least Concern for now because current field surveys still indicate that it is still relatively abundant, closer monitoring of its fisheries is badly needed.  The effects of current (and future) levels of harvesting on population size are badly in need of study for this species.  Should more detailed catch data for this species become available, it may be necessary to reassess this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is widely distributed in the Ganges and Indus river drainages, and also occurs in several major rivers in peninsular India at least as far south as the Krishna River (Ferraris and Runge 1999).  Records of this species from south of the Krishna River drainage (e.g. the Cauvery River) may represent introductions (Jayaram et al. 1982).  There is a single specimen collected from the Irrawaddy River drainage in Myanmar deposited in the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet in Stockholm.  If the locality information is correct, then this species is also found in the Irrawaddy River drainage.
Countries:
Native:
Bangladesh; India; Nepal
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information on the population and its trends for this species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits larger rivers and lakes.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is a major food fish. Juveniles are sometimes caught and exported as ornamental fishes.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Being a large predatory fish that is intensively fished for food, Sperata seenghala is most likely vulnerable to overfishing. However, there is no catch data to suggest that current levels of harvest are adversely affecting its population. Other threats to this species are unknown, since there is no information on the biology of this species and therefore the impact of potential threats (especially those of an anthropogenic nature) remains unknown. The current threats to aquatic biodiversity in all of its known distribution have also not been adequately identified.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: More research about the distribution and the biology of this species is needed, as there is insufficient information available. More information on catch data is needed and potential threats to this species also need to be identified.

Citation: Ng, H.H. 2010. Sperata seenghala. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 December 2014.
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