Dawkinsia arulius 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cyprinidae

Scientific Name: Dawkinsia arulius (Jerdon, 1849)
Common Name(s):
English Aruli Barb
Puntius arulius (Jerdon, 1849)
Systomus arulius Jerdon, 1849
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2015. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 7 January 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 7 January 2015).
Taxonomic Notes: Jerdon described this species from Srirangapattana in 1849 as Systomus aruliusSystomus rubrotinctus Jerdon, 1849 from Wyanad was later synonymised with this species. Subsequently, the species was reported from Kottayam,  Thenmalai, Kulathupuzha and Periyar Lake (Menon 1999). Populations from Thenmalai and Kulathupuzha were later described as a different species, Puntius exclamatio (Pethiyagoda and Kottelat 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2010-06-25
Assessor(s): Abraham, R.
Reviewer(s): Rema Devi, K.R., Gopalakrishnan, A., Shaji, C.P., Shrikant, J., Arunachalam, M., Vidyadhar, A., Johnson, J.A., Rahul, K. & Molur, S.
Contributor(s): Molur, S.
Dawkinsia arulius is restricted to Cauvery, Sharavathi, Tunga river systems in Karnataka, the upper reaches of Cauvery in Tamil Nadu and Pookode Lake in Wyanad, Kerala. While the species extent is quite wide, the area of occupancy is less than 300 km² in the headwaters and is restricted to 6–8 severely fragmented locations, each of which is threatened by factors that are affecting the habitats and populations. Hence the species is assessed as Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Dawkinsia arulius is found only in the upper reaches of the Tungabhadhra river system in the upper reaches of  Karnataka and the Cauvery river basin, in Wayanad of Kerala, the upper and middle reaches of  Karnataka and the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu. There is also a record of the species from the west-flowing Sharavathi river in Central Karnataka (Sreekantha et al. 2008). They have been found from Coorg (Kodagu), upstream of the type locality (Srirangapattana, in Karnataka State), just above which the river has been dammed in 1996, by Pethiyagoda & Kottelat (2005). However, no specimens of P. arulius were found in the Cauvery at Srirangapatam, despite an extensive search made by them in March 1996. Local fishermen failed to recognise photographs, of the fish or the local-name 'aruli' mentioned by Jerdon (1849: 317). Hence, the possibility that the species has become regionally extinct in those areas. Jayaram (2010) says that the species is found even in the west flowing drainages, as far south as Kottayam, Kerala.

The present species distribution is Coorg and Sharavathi River in Shimoga in Karnataka, Wyanad in Kerala, Nilgiris Cauvery drainage in Tamil Nadu (Cypriniformes evaluation working group, WGFWA evaluation 09 October 2010).
Countries occurrence:
India (Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:200-300
Number of Locations:6-8
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no published literature available, pertaining to the species population.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Dawkinsia arulius' habitat is small and large streams and rivers, at temperatures between 19°C to 25°C (Ghosh 2001). The species has also been documented from higher elevation montane habitats.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species features in the aquarium trade and collections are made from the wild (Mercy et al. 2007). This could be a threat to the species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat modification due to construction of dams (Sreekantha et al. 2008) and the emerging interest by the aquarium industry (Biju 2005) are potential threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in some protected areas, but otherwise mostly occurs in unprotected streams and rivers.

Citation: Abraham, R. 2015. Dawkinsia arulius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T172500A70168511. . Downloaded on 25 May 2018.
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