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Fauna of the Week

Puntius kamalika Silva, Maduwage & Pethiyagoda, 2008

Distribution in Sri Lanka of Puntius kamalika (type locality indicated by a circle)

  • E- Kami’s Barb
  • S- Ipilli kadeya and Mada ipilla

Taxonomic evaluation

Formerly identified mistakenly as P. amphibius and P. chola.


Puntius kamalika is distinguished from all Sri Lankan and peninsular-Indian congeners by having ½4/1/2½ scales in transverse line between mid-dorsal scale row and pelvic-fin origin and lacking any prominent markings on fins and body in both living and preserved examples. Body elongate and laterally compressed.

Adults are greenish-golden brown dorsally, with a faint, diffuse brownish lateral band about two scale-heights wide from top of operculum to base of caudal fin. Tail-base slightly darker than rest of body, but lacking melanophores. Body silvery-white ventrally. Fins faintly pinkish, except for the caudal, which is hyaline.

It differs from P. dorsalis by its smaller size.


Range and Distribution

Endemic. Puntius kamalika is widely distributed in the wet-zone lowlands of Sri Lanka (rainfall >2,500 mm yr-1), where it occurs in streams, rivers and marshes between the Kelani-River basin draining to the island’s west, and the Gin River basin to the south. It is locally common.


The species-name is an eponym honouring Dr. Kamalika Abeyaratne (22 June 1934–11 December2004).


Silva, A., Maduwage, K. and Pethiyagoda, R (2008) Puntius kamalika, a new species of barb from Sri Lanka (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) Zootaxa 1824: 55–64

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 11:31