Bronze featherback

India is home to an impressive array of freshwater fish species, boasting a staggering 2,500 known varieties inhabiting its rivers, lakes, and ponds. These aquatic creatures are of immense ecological and economic importance, with many being highly valued as a source of food or recreation. Among the most prominent species are the rohu, catla, hilsa, snakehead, mahseer, Indian carp, and gourami, each possessing their unique traits, colorations, and habitats. Nonetheless, the habitats of these species are under constant threat from environmental degradation, pollution, and overfishing, which highlights the dire need for effective conservation measures. The freshwater fish diversity of India is a vital resource that must be protected, managed, and preserved for the benefit of both the natural environment and human societies.

The Bronze Featherback fish, scientifically known as Notopterus notopterus, is a species of freshwater fish found in Southeast Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Thailand. It is known for its elongated body and sharp, pointed head, which gives it a distinct appearance. The fish is typically brown or bronze in color, with a series of dark spots along its sides. It is a carnivorous species that preys on small fish and invertebrates, using its sharp teeth and powerful jaws to capture its prey. The Bronze Featherback is a popular food fish in some regions of Southeast Asia and is also kept in aquariums due to its unique appearance. However, like many other freshwater fish species, the Bronze Featherback is facing habitat loss and overfishing, making conservation efforts crucial to ensuring its survival.

Serial No.CharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameBronze featherback
2Scientific nameNotopterus notopterus
3ColourBrownish with black stripes and white undersides
4Average length in m0.3 – 0.5 meters
5Average weight in kgs0.5 – 1 kilograms
6Found in river systems ofSoutheast Asia, including the Mekong, Chao Phraya, and Mae Klong rivers
7HabitatFreshwater habitats, such as rivers, streams, and ponds
8Any special characteristicsHas a long dorsal fin that resembles a feather and can breathe air through a specialized organ called a labyrinth organ.


Bronze Featherback, also known as Notopterus notopterus, is a species of freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia, particularly in the Mekong and Chao Phraya river basins. These fish are characterized by their long, slender bodies, and distinctive bronze-golden coloration with a black band running along their lateral line.

On average, Bronze Featherbacks can grow up to 40-45 cm (16-18 inches) in length and weigh between 250-500 grams (0.5-1 lb). However, in the wild, some individuals have been known to reach up to 60 cm (24 inches) in length and weigh as much as 1 kg (2.2 lb).

Bronze Featherbacks have a unique physical structure that allows them to breathe air using a specialized organ called the labyrinth organ, which helps them survive in oxygen-depleted environments. They also have sharp teeth and powerful jaws, which they use to capture their prey of small fish, shrimp, and other aquatic invertebrates.

In addition, these fish have a relatively long lifespan and can live up to 8-10 years in captivity with proper care and maintenance. Due to their unique physical characteristics and striking coloration, Bronze Featherbacks are a popular choice among fish enthusiasts and are often kept in home aquariums or used in recreational fishing.


The Bronze featherback fish is native to freshwater habitats in Southeast Asia, particularly in slow-moving rivers, swamps, and ponds. They can also be found in other freshwater habitats such as lakes and flooded fields. Bronze featherbacks prefer habitats with vegetation and submerged structures such as fallen trees, rocks, and aquatic plants. They are typically found in shallow water near the shore, but they can also be found in deeper water. In some areas, Bronze featherbacks are considered an important food fish and are raised in aquaculture ponds.

River System

In Assam, bronze featherback is commonly found in the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries such as the Subansiri, Lohit, and Dibang Rivers. It is locally known as “Khajuli” in Assam.

In West Bengal, bronze featherback is found in the Ganges River and its tributaries such as the Hooghly and Damodar Rivers. It is locally known as “Rani Puthi” in West Bengal.

In Tamil Nadu, bronze featherback is found in the river systems such as the Cauvery and Palar Rivers, as well as in some of the smaller rivers and ponds in the region. It is locally known as “Mottai keluthi” in Tamil Nadu.

Bronze featherback is found in the river systems of the Ganges, Yamuna, and their tributaries in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In Odisha, it is found in the river systems of Mahanadi, Baitarani, and Brahmani. Bronze featherback is found in the river systems of Godavari and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh

Threatened Status

The Bronze featherback fish is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This means that it is not considered to be facing a significant risk of extinction at the global level.

However, there are some local threats to the Bronze featherback population in certain areas, mainly due to habitat loss and degradation caused by human activities such as damming, deforestation, and pollution. Additionally, Bronze featherbacks are commercially important as a food fish, and overfishing can pose a threat to local populations.

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