Puntius punctatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Puntius punctatus
Species Authority: Day, 1865
Common Name(s):
English Dotted Sawfin Barb
Puntius punctatus subspecies ticto Day, 1865
Taxonomic Notes: Puntius punctatus was described by Day (1865) from the erstwhile princely state of Cochin , Kerala, India. Day (1889) later changed the generic status of the fish to Barbus. Hora, Misra and Malik (1939) synonymized Puntius punctatus to a more widely distributed species Puntius ticto. However, Silas (1939) considered P. punctatus as a valid subspecies P. ticto punctatus. Even though Talwar and Jhingran (1991) and Jayaram (1991, 1999) considered Puntius punctatus as a synonym of Puntius ticto; Menon (1999) and Devi et al. (2007) have considered Puntius punctatus as a valid species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-09-11
Assessor(s): Dahanukar, N.
Reviewer(s): Rema Devi, K.R., Gopalakrishnan, A., Arunachalam, M., Shrikant, J., Johnson, J.A., Rahul, K. & Molur, S.
Contributor(s): Molur, S.
Puntius punctatus is assessed as Least Concerned solely based on the fact that the inferred extent of occurrence for this species is more than any threatened category. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that the species is very rare and the area in which the species is found is threatened by urbanization, tourism, invasive fish species and agricultural pollution.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Puntius punctatus is endemic to the Western Ghats of India. It seems to be restricted to the west flowing rivers. It is found in Wyanad (Shaji and Easa 1995) and Ernakulam (Beevi and Ramachandran 2009) in Kerala and Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary (Devi et al. 2005, 2007) and also in the west flowing rivers in Kanyakumari district (Johnson and Arunachalam 2009) in Tamil Nadu, India. Since the species is present in Wayanad it is possible that it could also be recorded from west flowing rivers Netravathi and Kumaradhara of Karnataka (R. Kumar pers. comm.).

A report of this species from Sri Lanka (Menon 1999) needs confirmation. In addition, reports of the species from Mula-Mutha rivers of Pune (Tonapi and Mulherkar 1963) may be erroneous.
India (Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Puntius punctatus is a common species throughout its range.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Puntius punctatus is found in streams and ponds and attains a total length of 7.5 cm (Menon 1999).
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No detailed information is available on the use and trade of Puntius punctatus, however, Day (1865) reported that it is eaten by the natives.  It is in aquarium trade as P. ticto.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No particular threats have been recorded for Puntius punctatus, however, the area where the species is found is affected by urbanization, tourism, invasive fish species and agricultural pollution (Raghavan et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No particular conservation action plan is in place directed towards Puntius punctatus. Research is essential on population status, life history, ecology, use and trade and threats to this species.

Citation: Dahanukar, N. 2013. Puntius punctatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 30 May 2015.
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