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Catla catla.JPG
Young catla
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Subfamily: Labeoninae
Genus: Labeo
L. catla
Binomial name
Labeo catla
(F. Hamilton, 1822)
  • Cyprinus catla Hamilton, 1822
  • Catla catla (Hamilton, 1822)
  • Leuciscus catla (Hamilton, 1822)
  • Cyprinus abramioides Sykes, 1839
  • Hypselobarbus abramioides (Sykes, 1839)
  • Catla buchanani Valenciennes, 1844
  • Gibelion catla(Hamilton 1822)

Catla (Labeo catla), (Bengali: কাত্লা, romanizedkātlā) also known as the major South Asian carp, is an economically important South Asian freshwater fish in the carp family Cyprinidae. It is native to rivers and lakes in northern India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan, but has also been introduced elsewhere in South Asia and is commonly farmed.[1][2]

In Nepal and neighbouring regions of India, up to Odisha, it is called Bhakura.

Catla is a fish with large and broad head, a large protruding lower jaw, and upturned mouth. It has large, greyish scales on its dorsal side and whitish on its belly. It reaches up to 182 cm (6.0 ft) in length and 38.6 kg (85 lb) in weight.[2]

Catla is a surface and midwater feeder. Adults feed on zooplankton using large gill rakers, but young ones on both zooplankton and phytoplankton. Catla attains sexual maturity at an average age of two years and an average weight of 2 kg.


Cyprinus abramioides Sykes.jpg

The catla was formerly listed as the only species in the genus Catla, but this was a synonym of the genus Gibelion.[1][2] More recently, Catalog of Fishes has moved this species to Labeo.[3] This species has often been confused with the giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis) of south-east Asia as the two taxa bear an extraordinary resemblance to each other, especially in their very large heads.[1]


It is one of the most important aquacultured freshwater species in South Asia.[4][5] It is grown in polyculture ponds with other carp-like fish, particularly with the roho labeo (Labeo rohita) and mrigal carp. The reported production numbers have increased sharply during the 2000s, and were in 2012 about 2.8 million tonnes per year.[6]

Catla is sold and consumed fresh, locally and regionally. It is transported on ice. Fish of 1–2 kg weight are preferred by consumers.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Tenzin, K. (2010). "Gibelion catla". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2010: e.T166425A6206451. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T166425A6206451.en.
  2. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2017). "Gibelion catla" in FishBase. September 2017 version.
  3. ^ Eschmeyer W (2014) Cyprinus catla Archived 2014-08-10 at the Wayback Machine CAS Catalog of Fishes
  4. ^ Food and Aquaculture Organization of the United Nations, Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme: Catla catla (Hamilton, 1822)
  5. ^ Development of freshwater fish farming and poverty alleviation - A case study from Bangladesh
  6. ^ a b Catla catla (Hamilton, 1822) FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme