Tenualosa ilisha (Hamilton, 1822)
Hilsa shad
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Clupeidae (Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens), subfamily: Dorosomatinae
Max. size:  60 cm SL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 680.0 g; max.weight: 2,490.0 g; max. reported age: 5 years
Environment:  pelagic-neritic; depth range - 200 m, anadromous
Distribution:  Indian Ocean: Persian Gulf eastward to Myanmar, including western and eastern coasts of India. Reported from the Gulf of Tonkin, Viet Nam (Ref. 9706). Reported in Tigris River basin and probably other rivers of southern Iran (Ref. 39702).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 18-21; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 18-23. Belly with 30 to 33 scutes. Distinct median notch in upper jaw. Gill rakers fine and numerous, about 100 to 250 on lower part of arch. Fins hyaline. A dark blotch behind gill opening, followed by a series of small spots along flank in juveniles. Color in life, silver shot with gold and purple.
Biology:  Schooling in coastal waters and ascending rivers for as much as 1200 km (usually 50-100 km). Migration though is sometimes restricted by barrages. Hilsa far up the Ganges and other large rivers seem to be permanent river populations. Feeds on plankton, mainly by filtering, but apparently also by grubbing on muddy bottoms. Breeds mainly in rivers during the southwest monsoon (also from January to February to March). Artificial propagation has been partially successful in India (Ref. 4832). Known to be a fast swimmer, covering 71 km in one day (Ref. 12203). Marketed fresh or dried-salted.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 23 January 2013 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 28.09.17
Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 11.02.94

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