Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Anabantiformes
(Gouramies, snakeheads) > Channidae
Etymology: Channa: Greek, channe, -es = an anchovy (Ref. 45335). More on author: Bloch.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range - m (Ref. ), usually - m (Ref. ). Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 2059)
Asia: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Yunnan in China.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 31.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4833); common length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6028)
Found in ponds, swamps, brackish water (Ref. 6028), ditches and beels (Ref. 1479). Adults prefer stagnant waters in muddy streams (Ref. 4833). Feed on worms, insects and small fish (Ref. 6028). Accept chopped fish and shrimp in the aquarium. Breed throughout the year. Mitochondrial hypertrophy, noted in the double cone of the retina of this species, is considered a basic process in oil droplet formation (Ref. 10557) believed to be an adaptation for enhanced visual contrast detection in turbid waters (Ref. 10407). Used as live bait for angling larger snakeheads.
Spawning usually takes place at night in shallow water with a silty substrate. Eggs are laid in nests through elaborate tunnels in vegetated areas which look like vertical columns of water with the eggs floating in the center (Ref. 205). The male and female move towards the center of the nest during spawning where the male entwines his body to the female moving upward while releasing the eggs to be fertilised (Ref. 45309). Eggs are guarded by one or both parents. Hatching takes place in a day (Ref. 6028).
Pethiyagoda, R., 1991. Freshwater fishes of Sri Lanka. The Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka, Colombo. 362 p. (Ref. 6028)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial; bait: occasionally
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01023 (0.00801 - 0.01307), b=2.98 (2.92 - 3.04), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.70 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 1.2 (0.9 - 2.4) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 11 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.2; Fec=2,300).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (18 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 172 [69, 382] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.932 [0.558, 1.506] mg/100g ; Protein = 17 [16, 18] % ; Omega3 = 0.376 [0.170, 0.813] g/100g ; Selenium = 34 [12, 98] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 50.4 [18.2, 137.7] μg/100g ; Zinc = 1.03 [0.66, 1.65] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.