Aquaculture Feed and Fertilizer Resources Information System

Catla - Catla catla

(Hamilton, 1822) [Cyprinidae]

FAO official common names: Fr - Catla; Es - Catla

Taxonomic and biological features:

Distinguishing characters
Body short, deep and laterally compressed with rounded abdomen (Figures 1 & 2) . Large scaleless head, head depth exceeds half of the head length; snout is bluntly rounded. Eyes are large. Mouth wide, upturned with prominent protruding lower jaw; upper lip is absent and the lower lip is thick, continuous and with a free posterior margin; barbles absent. Lower jaw with movable articulation at the symphysis. Gill rakers long and fine; pharyngeal teeth in three rows, 5.3.2/2.3.5 pattern. Dorsal fin long, inserted above tip of pectoral fins with 18-19 rays (branched rays 14-16) and without spines. Short anal fin with 8 rays (branched rays 5). Pectoral fins long and extend to pelvic fins. Caudal fin forked. Lateral line complete with 40-43 cycloid scales. Colour grayish on back and flanks, silvery-white below, fins dusky.

Catla catla is a planktivorous carp; preferably feeding on zooplankton. Digestive system is very short and straight at early stage, folding of digestive system starts on day-9 after hatching, coiling is visible after 19 days of hatching. The digestive system is composed of pharynx, oesophagus, intestine and vent, stomach is absent.

Catla attains sexual maturity at an average age of two years and an average weight of 2 kg. Catla breed during the monsoon season in rivers. Under captive conditions spawning is induced by hypophysation. During the breeding season the dorsal surface of the pectoral fin of the males becomes rough and on applying gentle pressure on the belly milt oozes freely from the genital papilla. The female has a soft, round, bulging belly and a swollen, pinkish genital opening.