Puntius fasciatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Puntius fasciatus
Species Authority: (Jerdon, 1849)
Common Name(s):
English Melon Barb
Cirrhinus fasciatus Jerdon, 1849
Puntius afasciatus Jayaram, 1990
Puntius grayi Day, 1867
Puntius melanampyx (Day, 1865)
Taxonomic Notes: Jayaram (1981, 2010) does not recognize the species Puntius fasciatus in two of his books. He instead calls the species with similar characters and distribution, Puntius melanampyx. But, he recognizes it as P. fasciatus in his 1991 edition, Revision of the Genus Puntius. He also identifies subspecies of the same, that are applied to both specific names. Arunachalam. pers. comm. (2010) distinguished the two species based on chromosomal studies, but Gopalakrishnan. pers. comm. (2010) did not find any variation based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-06-23
Assessor(s): Abraham, R.
Reviewer(s): Rema Devi, K.R., Arunachalam, M., Shaji, C.P., Gopalakrishnan, A., Rahul, K. & Molur, S.
Contributor(s): Molur, S.
Puntius fasciatus is widely distributed and although there are localized threats, it is not under any major threat, hence assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Puntius fasciatus is found in the west flowing rivers of Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and up to Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu and also the east flowing streams of the Cauveri river basin in the foot of the Nallamala Hills (Jayaram 1981, 1991).
India (Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a very common species. There is no published literature on the population of this species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a small species that grows to a maximum of 5 - 6cm and mainly inhabits hilly and foothill areas. It is omnivorous in diet and also is eaten by larger fish and crustaceans (Chhapgar and Manakadan 2000).
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is not utilized for consumption, but is one of the most popular species in the pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Several rivers in Puntius fasciatus' range is undergoing degradation due to pollution and habitat destruction. The species is also threatened by introduced species like Xiphophorus maculatus in some areas of it's range (Krishnakumar et al. 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species survives in many protected areas across its range. However, more research in taxonomy, distribution and threats is imperative in order to assign relevant conservation actions for the preservation of variant forms of the species. The taxonomic status for this species is as of now, very confusing. It is often interchanged with Puntius melanampyx. We have reason to believe that this is a species complex with wide variation across it's range and hence the rise of confusion.

Citation: Abraham, R. 2013. Puntius fasciatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 23 May 2015.
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