Abstract

Puntius shalynius is a highly endemic freshwater minor carp that is economically

important and is threatened because of its ornamental value. The present investigation

evaluated this barb gonadal maturation, based on morphology and spawning of this species in

the Umiam river, Meghalaya, India. The population of this indigenous fish has declined due to

its fragmented distribution and exploitation as an ornamental fish. The reproductive cycle of

P. shalynius was studied for the first time. A total of 609 fish samples were randomly

collected from the river for a period of two years during January 2010 and December 2011.

Five maturity phases (rest, primary growth, secondary growth, ripe and spent) were observed

on the basis of ovarian and testicular macroscopic evaluation throughout the annual cycle.

Peak spawning activity was observed in the month of June/July and it coincided with the start

of the monsoon season. The study showed that the fish spawns once in a year with single

spawning peak and that the species is a low fecund fish. It is important to conserve this

species for its unique ecological value and urgent management policies should promote its

sustainable utilization.

Keywords: Puntius shalynius, endemic, ornamental, gonadosomatic index, India.