Fish Identification
Lot 3: Field identification tips for Barilius sp.

Lot 3: Field identification tips for Barilius sp.

Sort out bright silvery, laterally compressed fish with a black spot at base of every scale and ‘=’ – like black spot marks along the lateral line or vertical bands on the sides:

….. place them labeled as Barilius sp. may be !

…..All the specimens in this lot belong to Genus Barilius , represented by at least 3 common species viz., Barilius bendelisis > B. vagra, and > B. barna, in order of abundance.

All of them are most common in the hauls made from the hilly, clean watered, slow to fast running stretched with sandy or pebbly bed both in the eastern and western Doon.

Live specimens of Barilius sp. Mark the presence of Barilius vagra and Barilius bendelisis  in the glass jar.

CHARACTERIZATION OF 3 Barilius sp.:

The 3 species of this lot can be segregated on the basis of following characterizations:

  • 2 Pairs of barbels:

(a) Barbels shorter than eye diameter, maxillary longer than the rostral. Silvery, with a black spot at the base of each scale and double rows (‘=’) along the lateral line. Younger individuals have faint 8 – 9 vertical blue-black bars (bands) across the back. Opercles shot with gold and often there is a black streak like mark just behind the gill opening (touching the margin of operculum). Fins yellow. Pectorals, pelvics and anal tinged orange. The posterior edge of lower lobe of caudal fin edged black.

Males (var. chedara of Day) are quite characteristic with well-developed ‘pearl organs’ (highly cornified tubercles) on the upper and lower edge of the snout being less prominent in females (var. cocsa of Day). All the fins of males are thickened or fleshier as compared to females; thickenings more pronounced in large pectoral fins. The range of distribution is quite wider from 300 – 900 m above msl in both eastern and western Doon.

……..Barilius bendelisis (Indian Hill Trout)

Barilius bendelisis: Lateral view of a male and a female

More photos of Barilius bendelisis

Barilius bendelisis : Males showing pearl organs and thickened pectoral fin rays. Head of female enlarged to show less of pearl organs on the pointed snout.

(b) Body relatively slender. Lower jaw slightly longer. Rostral barbels quite long (nearly half as long as head) whereas the maxillary shorter. Silvery with a band of coppery hue from behind the upper edge of opercles to the base of caudal, disrupted intermittently by 9 – 10 royal bluish vertical bands on the sides. Fins yellowish, posterior edge of the caudal greyish.

This is the second most dominant species from Doon valley, found at about 300 – 600 m above msl.

…….Barilius vagra

Barilius vagra: Lateral view. Mark silvery body, long rostral barbel and lateral vertical bands.

Barilius vagra: Lateral view. Mark Silvery body with a band of coppery hue from behind the upper edge of opercles to the base of caudal, disrupted intermittently by 9 – 10 royal bluish vertical bands on the sides. Fins yellowish, posterior edge of the caudal greyish.

More photographs of Barilius vagra​

Barilius vagra: Fresh specimen in lateral view. Mark Silvery body with vertical bands on the sides shaded by silvery hue. Fins yellowish, posterior edge of the caudal greyish.Barilius vagra: Fresh specimen in lateral view. Mark Silvery body with vertical bands on the sides shaded by silvery hue. Fins yellowish, posterior edge of the caudal greyish.

Barilius vagra (Preserved specimen)

Barilius vagra (Preserved specimen)

Barilius vagra, head enlarged, showing longer rostral barbel and fine tuberculations on the lower jaw

Barilius vagra, head enlarged, showing longer rostral barbel and fine tuberculations on the lower jaw

Barilius vagra, head enlarged (side top view), showing longer rostral barbel and shorter maxillary.

Barilius vagra, head enlarged (side top view), showing longer rostral barbel and shorter maxillary.

A panoramic view of upstream section river Song at Maldevta (its tributary Bandal; Eastern Doon, Uttarakhand) during April-May months when the water level is reduced to few centimeters in some sections. The Fishes seen jumping / leaping out of water were identified as a large shoal of Barilius vagra and young individuals of Barilius bendelisis. Obviously, the leaping activity (an activity of restlessness) was due to heating up of water with reduced oxygen level.

Body relatively deeper, strongly compressed laterally. Dorsal outline behind head straighter, the ventral one being more arched. Fins yellow. Dorsal, anal and caudal tinged yellow-red. The upper edge of the dorsal and the lower lobe of the caudal edged black to light grey. 10 – 11 blackish-blue vertical bands descend down along the side up to the lateral line. Males with 6th and 7th ray of pelvic fin thickened.

……..Barilius barna

Barilius barna along with Puntius and other Barilius sp.

Barilius barna: A peculiar feature of widely opened mouth after brought out of water. The vertical bands appearing shaded by the bright silvery hue on the sides.

More images of Barilius barna

Barilius barna

Barilius barna

Barilius barna

Barilius barna

Barilius barna

Barilius barna

HABITATS PREFERRED BY Barilius sp.

Suswa River: A section of the river flowing through Raja ji National Park (close to Motichoor Forest), a favourite dwelling site for Barilius sp. along with others like Chagunius, Tor, Labeo, Mastacembelus sp. etc.
Suswa River: A section of the river flowing through Raja ji National Park (close to Motichoor Forest), a favourite dwelling site for Barilius sp. along with others like Chagunius, Tor, Labeo, Mastacembelus sp. etc.
River Song (Doon Valley): Upstream section at Doiwala, a favourite dwelling site for Barilius sp. along with others like Channa, Amblyceps, Glyptothorax, Garra, Tor sp.etc.
River Song (Doon Valley): Upstream section at Doiwala, a favorite dwelling site for Barilius sp. along with others like Channa, Amblyceps, Glyptothorax, Garra, Tor sp.etc.
River Song (Doon Valley): Upstream section at Gumaniwala (close to Rishikesh), a favourite dwelling site for Barilius sp. along with others like Puntius, Rasbora, Esomus, Devario, Danio, Channa, Clarias etc.
River Song (Doon Valley): Upstream section at Gumaniwala (close to Rishikesh), a favourite dwelling site for Barilius sp. along with others like Puntius, Rasbora, Esomus, Devario, Danio, Channa, Clarias etc.
River Song (Doon Valley): Downstream section below a road bridge at Doiwala, a site where Barilius vagra and B. barna can be found in numbers along with Esomus, Rasbora, Devario, Puntius,Channa sp. etc.
River Song (Doon Valley): Downstream section below a road bridge at Doiwala, a site where Barilius vagra and B. barna can be found in numbers along with Esomus, Rasbora, Devario, Puntius,Channa sp. etc.
River Song (Doon Valley): Downstream section at Raiwala (flowing towards Ganges), afavourite dwelling ground for Barilius bendelisis along with others like Tor, Labeo, Garra, Glyptothorax, Xenentodon sp. etc.
River Song (Doon Valley): Downstream section at Raiwala (flowing towards Ganges), a favourite dwelling ground for Barilius bendelisis along with others like Tor, Labeo, Garra, Glyptothorax, Xenentodon sp. etc.
Asan River: Western Doon (Dehradun district), close to Herbertpur, good dwelling site for Barilius bendelisis, along with Xenentodon cancila (Lot 2) and Puntius (Lot 1) sp.
Asan River: Western Doon (Dehradun district), close to Herbertpur, good dwelling site for Barilius bendelisis, along with Xenentodon cancila (Lot 2) and Puntius (Lot 1) sp.
Asan River: Western Doon (Dehradun district), close to Herbertpur; a stretch upstream of Asan Barrage (Dhalipur Lake) about 11 km from Dakpathar and 28 km Northwest of Dehradun (Uttarakhand). It is a Bird Watchers’ paradise, thronging from the length and breadth of India to watch migratory birds from Eurasia, specially Brahminy Duck or Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), most popular as ‘Surkhab’ in Hindi.
Asan River: Western Doon (Dehradun district), close to Herbertpur; a stretch upstream of Asan Barrage (Dhalipur Lake) about 11 km from Dakpathar and 28 km Northwest of Dehradun (Uttarakhand). It is a Bird Watchers’ paradise, thronging from the length and breadth of India to watch migratory birds from Eurasia, specially Brahminy Duck or Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), most popular as ‘Surkhab’ in Hindi.
Asan River: Western Doon (Dehradun district), close to Herbertpur; a stretch upstream of Asan Barrage Bird Sanctury (= Dhalipur Lake), showing a flock of winter visitor, a bright orange-brown duck, the Brahminy Duck or Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), most popular as ‘Surkhab’ in Hindi.
Asan River: Western Doon (Dehradun district), close to Herbertpur; a stretch upstream of Asan Barrage Bird Sanctury (= Dhalipur Lake), showing a flock of winter visitor, a bright orange-brown duck, the Brahminy Duck or Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), most popular as ‘Surkhab’ in Hindi.

Asan River: Western Doon (Dehradun district), close to Herbertpur; a stretch upstream of Asan Barrage Bird Sanctury (= Dhalipur Lake), showing a huge swimming flock of the Brahminy Duck or Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), most popular as ‘Surkhab’ in Hindi.

  • Systematic position:

Family: Cyprinidae

Subfamily:

Rasborinae(= Danioninae)

  • Barilius vagra, B. barna and youngs of B. bendelisis have ornamental value under a congenial temperature regime of hilly environment.
  • All in combination of three are common in Eastern Doon (Song and Suswa River) than in western Doon where B. bendelisis is dominant.