Chaca chaca fish

Scientific Name- Chaca chaca (Hamilton, 1822)

Common Name- Indian chaca

Local Name- Chakwa machhali


Class Osteichthyes
Sub-Class Aetinopterygii
Order Siluriformes
Family Chacidae
Genus Chaca
Species Chaca
Class Osteichthyes


Habits and habitat

It is found in rivers, canals, beel, chaur and floodplain area. Mostly found in Ganga river and associated channels. They are reported from Bhagalpur, Patna, Buxar, Rohtas, Begusarai and other districts of Bihar. It is found in the shallow area and lives quietly on the bottom alone.

Salient features

They are robust and ugly fish in look. Body is tadpole(frog) shaped, large posteriorly and compressed. Head broad and anteriorly compressed, very large mouth. It has a grey-brownish ground colour with deep brown marking. Fins are dark brown with black spots and newly growing fin edges are whitish. It is more active at night. It prefers attaching to the soft substratum by the flat ventral surface.

Chaca chaca live at swampy areas of the rivers and canals. It is a slow mover and attached to the substratum and feeds on aquatic insects, crustaceans, molluscs, plant matters and worms. It attains a length of 20cm (maximum). They breed in the summer season in shallow, flowing water.



  • Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore


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