Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 December 2020 | 12(17): 17361–17365


ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print) 


#5983 | Received 11 April 2020 | Final received 05 November 2020 | Finally accepted 17 November 2020



Occurrence of Corica soborna Hamilton, 1822 (Clupeiformes: Clupeidae) in the Godavari basin, India


Kante Krishna Prasad 1, Mohammad Younus 2  & Chelmala Srinivasulu 3


1,3 Wildlife Biology and Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana 500007, India.

2 Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Studies, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana 500007, India.

3 Systematics, Ecology & Conservation Laboratory, Zoo Outreach Organization, No. 12 Thiruvannamalai Nagar, Saravanampatti-Kalapatti Road, Saravanampatti, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641035, India.

1, 2, 3 (corresponding author)





Editor: Rajeev Raghavan, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), Kochi, India. Date of publication: 26 December 2020 (online & print)


Citation: Prasad, K.K., M. Younus & C. Srinivasulu (2020). Occurrence of Corica soborna Hamilton, 1822 (Clupeiformes: Clupeidae) in the Godavari basin, India.  Journal of Threatened Taxa 12(17): 17361–17365.


Copyright: © Prasad et al. 2020. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding: The study was funded by UGC-BSR scheme.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: We acknowledge the Head, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad for providing facilities and encouragement. KKP acknowledges the research funding from University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi. MY acknowledges the internship support at the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Studies, Osmania University, Hyderabad. We also thank Tokala Venkatesh and his family members for assistance in the the field and hospitality.




Abstract: We record for the first time, Corica soborna Hamilton, 1822 from Godavari River, based on a single specimen collected from stream near Talai Village, Kumaram Bheem Asifabad District of Telengana State.  In addition to a detailed description of its morphological characters, we also provide details on distribution, habitat and threats to the species.


Keywords: Bejjur, Clupeoid, freshwater fish, Pranahita River sub-basin, Telangana State.



Approximately 420 species of clupeoids are known from around the world, distributed in marine, estuarine and freshwater habitats (Fricke et al. 2020).  In India, more than 80 species of clupeoid fishes have been recorded (Froese & Pauly 2019), of which around 34 species are distributed in freshwaters and estuaries (Jayaram 2010; Froese & Pauly 2019).  The Ganges River Sprat, Corica soborna Hamilton, 1822 is a small freshwater clupeid primarily known from the Ganges river basin, with a record from the Bharathapuzha River basin in Kerala (Bijukumar & Sushama 2000).  Other records are from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore in southeastern Asia (Hardenberg 1936; Herre & Myers 1937; Whitehead 1967, 1972).  This species was described from Aiyargunj in erstwhile Bengal Presidency (Hamilton 1822; also see Britz 2019), at the confluence of Punarbhaba River with Mahananda River, located in current day Bangladesh (Bhattacharya 1974).  Previous records of the species are mostly from the Ganges and its tributaries – Dehri-on-Sone on river Sone in Bihar (Motwani & David 1957), Goribaba on river Ken in Uttar Pradesh (Srivastava et al. 1970), Dighwara on the Ganges in Bihar (Karamchandani 1962), from several other locations on the Ganges in Patna and Bhagalpur districts in Bihar, and Sahibganj district in Jharkhand (Kamal & Ahsan 1978).  The only record of this species in India, outside the Ganges River system is from the Ponnani Estuary, Kerala (Bijukumar & Sushama 2000).  Whitehead (1972) inadvertently mentioned ‘Mahanadi’ river as type locality instead of ‘Mahananda’ river from where the species was described by Hamilton (1822).  It has so far not been recorded from the Godavari River basin (Talwar & Jhingran 1991; Krishnan & Mishra 2001; Jayaram 1981, 2010), or from anywhere in Telangana State (Barman 1993; Chaudhry 2010; Jayaram 2010).  Through this communication, we report for the first time, the occurrence of Corica soborna in the Godavari River basin in Telangana State, India.


Material and Methods

While conducting ichthyological surveys in Telangana State, we collected a single specimen of a fish that resembled C. soborna with a dragnet operated by a local fisher at Talai Village, Kumaram Bheem Asifabad District. The voucher specimen was photographed, labeled, and fixed in 4% formalin (Jayaram 2010), and deposited in the Natural History Museum, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State, India (NHMOU).  Morphometric measurements were taken using Mitutoyo digital calipers following Jayaram (2010) and Armbruster (2012), and the fish was subsequently identified as C. soborna following Whitehead (1972, 1985), Talwar & Jhingran (1991), and Jayaram (1981, 2010).


Corica soborna Hamilton, 1822

(Image 1)


Materials examined: NHM.OU.F-993, 05.i.2019, a stream near Talai Village, Pranahita sub-basin of Godavari, Kumarambheem Asifabad District, Telangana, India, 19.2960N & 79.9520E, 110m, coll. Kante Krishna Prasad & Md. Younus.

Distinguishing characters: Corica soborna is a small fish, attaining about 50mm in standard length.  The following characters distinguish the species from its congeners: body moderately elongate; abdomen keeled; 10 pre-pelvic and eight post-pelvic scutes; mouth terminal; second supra-maxilla equal to, or as long as maxilla blade; teeth absent or minute; gill rakers of first gill 19–21 (Whitehead 1972; Talwar & Jhingran 1991); dorsal fin inserted above pelvic origin with two simple (Talwar & Jhingran 1991) and 13–14 branched rays (Hamilton 1822; Talwar & Jhingran 1991); pectoral with 12–13 rays (Hamilton 1822; Talwar & Jhingran 1991); pelvic fin insertion in advance of dorsal fin origin with one simple and seven branched rays (Talwar & Jhingran 1991); anal fin with two simple and 12–13 branched rays and two rays in a distinct finlet (Talwar & Jhingran 1991); caudal fin deeply forked with 18 rays and faint dark edges (Hamilton 1822); scales small; lateral line absent; lateral series scales 40 to 42 (Jayram 2010).

The present specimen matches the general description provided by Hamilton (1822), Talwar & Jhingran (1991), and Jayram (2010).  Morphometric measurements and meristic counts are presented in Table 1.  Minor variations with respect to simple and branched rays could likely be due to the manner in which counts were taken by previous researchers with those made in the present study.  In the present specimen, dorsal fin is inserted above pelvic origin, with three simple and 13 branched rays; pectoral fin with one simple and 13 branched rays; pelvic fin with one simple and seven branched rays; anal fin with three simple and 11 branched rays and two branched rays in the finlet; caudal fin deeply forked with 18 principal rays and 12 procurrent rays; lateral series scales 41; and 22 gill rakers on lower arch of first gill.

Habitat: One individual of Corica soborna was collected in an eighth-order stream (Strahler 1957) of six-meter depth, with rapid water flow (1.2 m/s) and bedrock, submerged boulders, sand, silt and detritus swamp as substrates.  Riparian vegetation on the left bank of the stream was occupied with shrubs and scattered trees of Tectona grandis, Cassia fistula, Albizia amara, and Acacia leucophloea, and right bank with cultivated lands. Co-occurring fish fauna included Amblypharyngodon mola, Barilius barila, Chanda nama, Channa marulius, C. striata, Glossogobius giuris, Labeo calbasu, Macrognathus pancalus, Mastacembelus armatus, Mystus bleekeri, M. vittatus, Puntius sophore, Rasbora daniconius, Sperata seenghala, and Systomus sarana.



The present record of Corica soborna in the Godavari River basin extends its distribution to the middle of peninsular India.  This species is currently known from few locations in the Ganga basin from Uttar Pradesh to West Bengal in India, and in Bangladesh (Mahananda, Ken, and Sone river drainages), as well as in the Bharathapuzha River (in Ponnani Estuary) in Kerala.  The presence of C. soborna in the Godavari River basin suggest that this species may be more widespread in peninsular India than previously thought.  In addition to the inland waters of India and Bangladesh (Rahman 1989, 2005; Payne et al. 2004; Wahab 2007; Alam et al. 2013; Arefin et al. 2018), C. soborna also occurs in the estuaries of Southeast Asian countries (Fig. 1) including Indonesia (Hardenberg 1936; Whitehead 1967, 1972), Malaysia (Whitehead 1967, 1972), and Singapore (Herre & Myers 1937; Whitehead 1967).  This species has also specifically been recorded from Mekong and Bangpakong rivers in Thailand (Taki 1978; Suvatti 1981); however, Chaudhry (2010) doubted the validity of these records.  The discontinuous distribution of this species may suggest data-deficiency in surveys and non-availability of verified checklists from other parts of southern and Southeast Asian countries, indicating ‘Wallacean shortfall’.

Alteration, fragmentation, and destruction of critical habitats as a result of the construction of irrigation and hydropower projects in the middle and upper reaches of the Godavari, as well as indiscriminate fishing could be detrimental to the survival of the newly detected population of C. soborna in Telangana State.  We propose further research on understanding the micro-level distribution, population status and dynamics, and threats (both direct and indirect) of this species in Telangana State.



Table 1. Morphometric characters and meristic counts of Corica soborna from Godavari River basin, Telangana State, India.

Morphometric Characters

Specimen voucher



Total length (mm)



Standard length (mm)



Head length (mm)



% of Standard length

Body depth



Head length



Head depth



Head width



Eye diameter



Snout length



Inter orbital width



Dorsal fin base length or dorsal fin width



Pre-dorsal distance



Dorsal fin length



Dorsal fin origin to hypural distance



Pectoral fin length



Pelvic fin length



Caudal peduncle length



Caudal peduncle depth



Pre-pelvic distance



Pre-anal distance



Anal fin base length



Anal fin length



% of Head length

Head depth



Head width



Eye diameter



Snout length



Inter orbital width



Meristic counts

Scales in Lateral Series



Transverse scale rows



Pre pelvic scutes



Post pelvic scutes



Pre-dorsal scales



Pre-pelvic scales



Pre-anal scales



Dorsal fin rays



Pectoral fin rays



Pelvic fin rays



Anal fin rays + (finlet)



Principal caudal fin rays



Procurrent caudal fin rays





Table 2. Global distribution of Corica soborna. Location names in brackets are historic names.




River Basin/ Estuary




Aiyargunj, Mahananda River, Bangladesh (Aiargunj, Mahananda River, India)*



Hamilton 1822; Britz 2019



Dehri-on-Sone, Sone River, Bihar



Motwani & David 1957


Dighwara, Ganga River, Bihar



Karamchandani 1962


Goribaba, Ken River, Banda, Uttar Pradesh



Srivastava et al. 1970


Rajmahal, Ganga River, Jharkhand



Kamal & Ahsan 1978**


Ponnani Estuary, Kerala



Bijukumar & Sushama 2000


Talai, Kumarambheem Asifabad District, Telangana State



Present Study


Halda River, Chittagong, Bangladesh



Alam et al. 2013


Narsunda River, Kishoreganj District, Bangladesh



Arefin et al. 2018


Padma River, Bangladesh



Payne et al. 2004


Kapuas River, West Kalimantan (S.W. Borneo)



Whitehead 1967, 1972


Musi River, South Sumatra, Indonesia (S.E. Sumatra)



Whitehead 1967


Padang Tikar Bay, Indonesia



Hardenberg 1936; Whitehead 1967


Pamangkat, Indonesia (Pemangkat, S.W. Borneo)



Whitehead 1967, 1972


Perak River, Malaysia (Malaya)



Whitehead 1967, 1972





Herre & Myers 1937; Whitehead 1967

*Type locality; **Kamal & Ahsan (1978) report C. soborna being collected from various locations of Ganga River in Patna and Bhagalpur districts in Bihar, and Sahibganj District in Jharkhand, India.


For figure & image - - click here





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