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Ailia coila (Hamilton, 1822)

Image contributors to this species:

Mostafa Hossain (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search


Relevant Information:

Ailia coila is heavily utilized as a food fish (Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Patra et al. 2005, Mishra et al. 2009). Heavy harvesting of the fish could be a threat to its population (Patra et al. 2005, Mishra et al. 2009). Ailia coila was originally described as Malapterurus coila by Hamilton (1822) from freshwater rivers of West Bengal. Gray's (1830) illustrations of Acanthonotus hardwickii, Silurus (Acanthonotus) cuvieri and Malapterus (Ailia) bengalensis and Günther's (1864) description of Ailia affinisre are all currently synonymized to Ailia coila (Ferraris 2007). Remarks: Ailia coila is a widespread species that has undergone significant decline in its population due to overexploitation as a food fish in parts, if not throughout its entire range. However, potential problems in taxonomy and problems in extrapolating data from localised studies for the entire subcontinent (to fully assess population decline) make it impossible to accurately assess this species. Due to limited evidence available that suggest significant declines in population as a result of overfishing, the species is assessed as Near Threatened (a possible decline of close to 30% over its entire range over a ten year period) with urgent need to study the threats, harvest levels and population changes in this species. (Red List of Threatened Species 2010)

Common Name:

Gangetic ailia


Acanthonotus hardwickii, Ailia affinis, Ailia bengalensis, Malapterurus coila, Malapterurus cuvieri, Malapterus bengalensis, Silurus cuvieri




Asia: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal.


28cm (11¼ins)


22-24°C (71-75°F)




Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran, 1991. Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries. Volume 2. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2019.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, ( 02/2019 )
Ng, H.H. & Dahanukar, N. 2011. Ailia coila. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T166451A6212182. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T166451A6212182.en.



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