Xenentodon cancila

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Xenentodon cancila
Xenentodon cancila (Wroclaw zoo)-1.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Beloniformes
Family: Belonidae
Genus: Xenentodon
Species:
X. cancila
Binomial name
Xenentodon cancila
(F. Hamilton, 1822)
Synonyms
  • Esox cancila Hamilton, 1822
  • Belone cancila (Hamilton, 1822)
  • Xenenthodon cancila (Hamilton, 1822)
  • Belone graii Sykes, 1839
  • Esox indica McClelland, 1842
  • Esox hindostanicus Falconer, 1868
  • Xenentodon canciloides (non Bleeker, 1853) misapplied

Xenentodon cancila, the freshwater garfish, is a species of needlefish found in freshwater and brackish habitats in South and Southeast Asia.[2]

Common names[edit]

Belone cancila Griesbach 118.jpg

As a reasonably popular aquarium fish Xenentodon cancila, has been traded under a variety of common names, including needlefish,[3] silver needlefish,[4] Asian freshwater needlefish,[3] needlenose halfbeak,[5] freshwater gar,[5] needlenose gar and numerous others. While belonging to the same family as the marine needlefish known in Europe as gar or garpike, Belone belone,[6] these fish are much more distantly related to other fishes sometimes called gars (such as the North American gars and South American pike characins).[5] In Assam it is locally known as Kokila. It is known as "Yonna (යොන්නා) or Habarali (හබරලි)" in Sri Lanka.

Distribution[edit]

The freshwater garfish is widely distributed across South and Southeast Asia from India and Sri Lanka to the Malaysian Peninsula.[4]

Morphology[edit]

In common with other needlefish, this species has an elongate body with long, beak-like jaws filled with teeth.[6] The dorsal and anal fins are positioned far back along the body close to the tail.[6] The body is silvery-green, darker above and lighter below with a dark band running horizontally along the flank.[2] Slight sexual dimorphism exists, the male fish often having anal and dorsal fins with a black edge.[4][6] It reaches a length of 40 cm (16 in).[2]

Diet[edit]

While aquarium books tend to describe this fish as a predator that eats animals such as fish and frogs, its natural diet appears to consist almost entirely of crustaceans.[4]

Reproduction[edit]

This species is oviparous.[4] In aquaria at least, spawning takes place in the morning, with small numbers of eggs being deposited among plants.[4] The eggs are about 3.5 mm (0.14 in) in diameter and are attached to plant leaves with sticky threads about 20 mm (0.79 in).[4] The eggs take ten days to hatch, at which point the fry are almost 12 mm (0.47 in) long.[4] At this point they will eat small live foods including week-old labyrinth fish.[4]

Human significance[edit]

Freshwater needlefish support minor fisheries and are also traded as aquarium fish.[2]

In the aquarium[edit]

The freshwater needlefish is one of several of needlefish species kept in public and home aquaria.[6] It has been kept by European aquarists since 1910,[6] and was first bred in captivity at the Biological Station Wilhelminenberg, Austria in 1963.[4] Xenentodon cancila is generally considered quite a difficult species to maintain because of its large size, nervous behaviour, and preference for live foods.[3] Alongside misunderstandings of the natural diet of these fish,[7] there has been confusion over the optimal water conditions required by this species when kept in home aquaria, with the addition of salt to the water often being recommended.[5] These fish do perfectly well in freshwater aquaria.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dey, S.C. (2010). "Xenentodon cancila". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T166522A6227664. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T166522A6227664.en.
  2. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Xenentodon cancila" in FishBase. May 2013 version.
  3. ^ a b c Monks N: Straight to the point: the Beloniformes. Practical Fishkeeping, October 2005
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Riehl, R; Baensch, H (1996). Aquarium Atlas (vol. 1). Voyageur Press. ISBN 3-88244-050-3.
  5. ^ a b c d Monks, Neale (editor) (2006). Brackish Water Fishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist. ISBN 0-7938-0564-3.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e f Sterba, G (1962). Freshwater Fishes of the World. Vista Books. p. 609pp.
  7. ^ a b Monks N: Pocket-sized Pikes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist, April 2007