American Journal of Zoological Research
ISSN (Print): 2373-678X ISSN (Online): 2373-6771 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Zoological Research. 2017, 5(2), 38-46
DOI: 10.12691/ajzr-5-2-4
Open AccessArticle

A Quick View on Biology of Near Threatened Peacock Eel (Macrognathus aculeatus) in Khulna Region of Bangladesh

Shamima Sultana1, , Kamrun Nahar1, Joyanta Bir1, Manash Kabiraj1 and Md. Nuruzzaman Khan1

1Fisheries and Marine Resource Technology Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh

Pub. Date: August 11, 2017

Cite this paper:
Shamima Sultana, Kamrun Nahar, Joyanta Bir, Manash Kabiraj and Md. Nuruzzaman Khan. A Quick View on Biology of Near Threatened Peacock Eel (Macrognathus aculeatus) in Khulna Region of Bangladesh. American Journal of Zoological Research. 2017; 5(2):38-46. doi: 10.12691/ajzr-5-2-4


The Peacock eel, Macrognathus aculeatus is a near threatened highly valuable small indigenous species in Bangladesh. It is not only toothsome nutritive table fish but also notable aquarium species but still rely on natural stock. Keeping in mind the paucity of information on the biology which is crucial to develop artificial propagation and culture technique of this species, the present research was performed as an attempt to contribute to the information on the taxonomy and other biological aspects of M. aculeatus. Total 50 samples were collected from Khulna region during April to May 2014 to assay. The taxonomical study revealed that the total length, standard length, head length, eye diameter, pre and post orbital length; length of dorsal, anal and caudal fin; length of upper and lower jaw; body depth and width, distance between dorsal fin to caudal fin ranged from 17.00-21.00, 15.00-19.00, 0.80-3.00, 0.20-0.40, 0.50-2.10, 0.30-1.70, 3.10-6.70, 3.50-6.30, 0.50-1.50, 0.30-1.00, 0.70-1.80, 0.90-2.30, 0.60-1.20, 0.70-2.40 cm respectively, additionally meristic character’s formula appeared like D. 19 - 39, A. 11 - 18, C. 29 – 52, L. 11-15 and number of eye spots on dorsal fin, 3-10. Turning to the biological inquiry which showed that the fish weight (g), gonad weight (g), liver weight (g), gut weight (g), gonadosomatic, alimentosomatic and hepatosomatic index and condition factor ranged from 15.10-28.60, 2.32-3.18, 0.029-0.044, 0.64-1.08, 9.69-14.79, 2.58-4.15, 0.11-0.19 and 0.30-0.40 respectably. The mean values of hepatosomatic and alimentosomatic indices persuaded greater liver activity and feeding intensity in M. aculeatus. Moreover, stomach content depicted that the diet of peacock eel composed of small fish species, small prawn, prawn larvae, earthworm, water strider, insects pupae, Metaphire posthuma, Caenorhabditis, sand and mud for instance, which in brief expressed that M. aculeatus is omnivorous in its feeding habits. Indeed, this preliminary research outcome would be utile for the species identification, seed production, developing culture technologies as well as biodiversity conservation of this near threatened fish species.

near threatened species taxonomy condition factor gonadosomatic index hepatosomatic index food habit

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  World Conservation Union, IUCN. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. [Retrieved from], 2006, 373.
[2]  Das, S.K. and Kalita, N, “Captive Breeding of Peacock Eel, Macrognathus aculeatus”, Aquaculture Asia, VIII (3). 17-21. 2003.
[3]  Rahman, M.M., Hossain, M.Y., Hossain M.A., Ahamed, F. and Ohtomi, J, “Sex Ratio, Length-Frequency Distributions and Morphometric Relationships of Length-Length and Length-Weight for Spiny Eel, Macrognathus aculeatus in the Ganges River, NW Bangladesh”, World Journal of Zoology, 7 (4). 338-346. 2012.
[4]  Faridi, A.A., Rizvi, M.M.A. and Serajuddin, M, “Food and feeding habits of peacock eel, Macrognathus aculeatus (Bloch, 1786) from Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India.” International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies, 4 (4). 130-134. 2016.
[5]  Lagler, K.F., Bardach, J.E., Miller, R.R. and May Passino, D.R, Ichthyology, Second Edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1977, 1-506.
[6]  Parameshwaran, S., Selvaraj, C. and Krishan, S.R, “The study of the biology of Labeo gonius in confined waters”, Indian Journal of Fisheries, 21 (1). 54-75. 1974.
[7]  Delahunty, G. and De Vlaming, V.L, “Seasonal relationship of ovary weight, liver weight and fat stores with body weight in goldfish, Carassius auaratus (L.)” Journal of Fish Biology, 16. 5-13. 1980.
[8]  Hynes, H.B.N, “The food of fresh water sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus and Pygosteus pungitius), with a review of methods used in studies of the food of fishes”, Journal of Animal Ecology, 19. 36-58. 1950.
[9]  Hile, R, “Age and growth of Cisco, Leucicththys artedi (Le Suer) in the lakes of North eastern high land, Wisconsin”. Bulletin of the National Research Council (U.S.) – Washington. 48, 211-217. 1936.
[10]  Endmondson, W.T, Freshwater Biology, Second edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York, London, 1959, 389.
[11]  Needham, J.G. and Needham, P.R, A guide to the study of Freshwater Biology. Halden-Day, San Francisco, 1962, 205.
[12]  Sultana, S., Shah, M.S., Islam, S.S. and Ghosh, A.K, “Taxonomy and other biological aspects of Rhinomugil corsula (Hamilton)”, International Journal of Research in Biological Sciences, 3 (3). 123-131. 2013.
[13]  Rahman, A.K.A, Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh. The Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, 2005, 273-274.
[14]  Bhuiyan, A.L, Fishes of Dacca, Asiatic Society of Pakistan, Dacca, 1964, 118-119.
[15]  Smith, H.M, The fresh-water fishes of Siam, or Thailand, Bull, United States National Museum, 1945, 188-633.
[16]  Shrestha, J, Fishes, fishing implements and methods of Nepal, Smt. M.D. Gupta, Lalitpul Colony, Lashkar (Gwalior), India, 1994, 150.
[17]  Vidthayanon, C, Peat swamp fishes of Thailand. Office of Environmental Policy and Planning, Bangkok, Thailand, 2002, 136.
[18]  Hossain, M.Y., Ahmed, Z.F., Leunda, P.M., Islam, A.K.M.R., Jasmine, S., Oscoz, J., Miranda, R. and Ohtomi, J, “Length-weight and length-length relationships of some small indigenous fish species from the Mathabhanga River, southwestern Bangladesh.” Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 22 (4). 301-303. 2006.
[19]  Colerbook, J.M, “Continuous plankton records: phytoplankton, zooplankton and environment, northeast Atlantic and North Sea, 1958-1980”, Oceanologica Acta, 5. 473-480. 1982.
[20]  Weatherley, A.H. and Gill, H.S, The biology of fish growth. Academic Press, London, UK, 1987.
[21]  Shafi, M. and Quddus, M.M.A, Bangladesher Matshaw Sampad, Bangla academy, Dhaka, 1982, 307-308.
[22]  Pathak, B.C., Mir J.I. and Serajuddin, M, “Morphometric Variation among Barred Spiny Eel, Macrognathus pancalus (Hamilton 1822), Populations from the Ganges and Brahmaputra River Basin, India by Using Geomorphometrics”. Journal of Biology, 3 (1). 15-20. 2013.
[23]  Doha. S. and Dewan, S, “Studies on the biology of Tilapia, length weight relationship and condition factor”, Pakistan Journal of Science, 19. 14-23. 1967.
[24]  Uthayakumar, V., Sreedevi, P.R., Senthilkumar, D., Munirasu, S., Kiruba, A. and Ramasubramanian, V, “Impact of seasonal variation and feeding on reproductive behavior of fresh water spiny eel Mastacembelus armatus from Cauvery River”, Asian Pacific Journal of Reproduction, 2 (3). 189-195. 2013.
[25]  Ali, M.S., Rahman, M.M., Hossain, L. and Mollah, M.F.A, “Studies on the food habits of three species of Mastacembelidae”, Bangladesh Journal of Fisheries Research, 7 (1). 43-52. 2003.
[26]  Parihar, D. and Saksena, D.N, “The food, feeding habits and condition factor of three freshwater fishes from Tighra reservoir, Gwalior”, Journal of Ecophysiology and Occupational Health 10. 13-19. 2010
[27]  Roberts, T.R, “A revision of the Asian mastacembelid fish genus Macrognathus”, Copeia, 3. 385-391. 1980.
[28]  Nikolsky G.V, Ecology of fishes, Academic Press, London, 1963, 352.
[29]  Khanum, H., Begum, S. and Begum, A, “Seasonal prevalence, intensity and organal distribution of helminth parasites in Macrognathus aculeatus”, Dhaka University Journal of Biological Science, 20 (2). 117-122. 2011.