Osteochilus longidorsalis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Osteochilus longidorsalis
Species Authority: (Pethiyagoda & Kottelat 1994)
Common Name(s):
English Long Finned Barb, Hiffin Carp
Osteochilichthys longidorsalis Pethiyagoda & Kottelat, 1994
Taxonomic Notes: Osteochilus longidorsalis was first described from Vettilapara in Chalakudy River, Kerala, India (Pethiyagoda and Kottelat 1994).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-04-04
Assessor(s): Raghavan, R. & Ali, A.
Reviewer(s): Rema Devi, K.R., Gopalakrishnan, A., Arunachalam, M., Shrikant, J., Johnson, J.A., Rahul, K. & Molur, S.
Contributor(s): Molur, S.
Osteochilus longidorsalis is listed as Endangered as it is only known from the Chalakudy and Periyar River basins in Kerala where the area of occupancy is restricted to less than 60 km2 and extent is less than 3000 km2. The two locations are threatened by the presence of exotic species, continuing decline in the quality of habitat, destructive fishing, tourism and a proposed hydroelectric power project.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Osteochilus longidorsalis is endemic to the Western Ghats in the state of Kerala, India (Ponniah and Gopalakrishnan 2000, Dahanukar et al. 2004). Known from the Chalakudy (including Parambikulam Tiger Reserve) and Periyar Rivers (Ajithkumar et al. 1999, Biju et al. 1999, Devi et al. 2005, Euphrasia et al. 2006, Kurup et al. 2004, Pethiyagoda and Kottelat 1994, Raghavan et al. 2008a).
India (Kerala)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No information on population is available. O. longidorsalis is known to be  rare (Ajithkumar et al. 1999) or very rare (Thomas et al. 2002) in Chalakudy River. Catch per hour at various sites in Chalakudy River is very low (Euphrasia et al. 2006).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inhabits torrential streams with clear water and moderate canopy cover (Shaji and Easa 2003) with boulders, cobbles and bed rock as the major substrates (A. Ali and R. Raghavan per. obs.). Known to be a habitat specialist with affinity towards pool, riffles and cascades (Manojkumar and Kurup 2002). It is a herbivorous feeder subsisting on plants, seeds and algae (Thomas 2004).
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: O. longidorsalis is exploited as a food fish from Chalakudy River by tribals and other local communities (R.Raghavan and A. Ali pers. obs.). Juveniles are exported to the international aquarium pet trade (Raghavan 2010).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

In Chalakudy River, O. longidorsalis is threatened by the presence of exotic species, destructive fishing methods, increasing tourism and pollution (Raghavan et al. 2008a, b). There is also a threat from a proposed hydroelectric power project. In Periyar River, the species is under threat from destructive fishing practices including dynamiting and poisoning (A. Ali and R.Raghavan pers. obs.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation actions are in place. There is an urgent need to carry out research to generate baseline data on population, life history traits, ecology and exploitation. Captive breeding and milt cryopreservation techniques have developed at NBFGR (A. Gopalakrishnan pers. comm.).

Citation: Raghavan, R. & Ali, A. 2013. Osteochilus longidorsalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 03 March 2015.
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