Review of the Milkfishes of Iran (Family Chanidae)

Brian W COAD

Abstract

The systematics, morphology, distribution, biology, economic importance and conservation of the milkfish (Chanos chanos) of Iran are described, the species is illustrated, and a bibliography on this fish in Iran is provided. It is characterised by a compressed and oblong body, small, toothless and terminal mouth, non-protractile upper jaw, lateral pouches on the posterior part of the branchial chamber forming an epibranchial organ and presence of intermuscular bones. The milkfish resembles members of the family Clupeidae (herrings) but is distinguished by a low number of branchiostegal rays (4 as opposed to 6-7), the presence of a lateral line, and the absence of scutes along the belly. Chanos chanos is found from the African coast, Red Sea and Persian Gulf to the southern Pacific coast of the U.S.A. and to Peru, and north to Japan and south to Australia. Usually found in littoral waters of the ocean, rarely entering rivers but often found in estuaries. The milkfish has been acclimatised to freshwater ponds.

Keywords

Biology, Morphology, Distribution, Habitat, Chanos.

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References

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