Channa gachua

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Dwarf snakehead
Channa gachua after munro 1955.jpg
After Munro, 1955[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Channidae
Genus: Channa
Species: C. gachua
Binomial name
Channa gachua
(F. Hamilton, 1822)

Channa gachua, the dwarf snakehead, is a species of snakehead. It is one of the dwarf snakeheads, and has a length of up to 20 cm (8 in). It gave its name to the aquarists' term dwarf snakeheads to denote the smaller Channa species.

Distribution of Channa gachua, USGS 2004[1]

It can be found in Asian countries from Pakistan to Indonesia. Modern ichthyology considers this fish to be a species complex, i.e. that it consists of several closely related species. Because of its pretty coloration and small size, it is an attractive fish and is commonly kept in aquaria. It is a mouthbrooder and eats a wide range of foods including insects and small fish, but no animals like frogs. It is a hardy fish that can tolerate large changes in temperature and acidity.

Channa gachua is often confused with C. orientalis, an endemic species from Sri Lanka. But, recent studies shown that both species are found within Sri Lanka. [2]In Indian ichthyology, C. gachua is considered to be a junior synonym of C. orientalis, because it was described by Markus Elieser Bloch 20 years before Hamilton described C. gachua. The major morphological difference between the two species is that C. gachua has ventral fins and C. orientalis does not. They also differ in their breeding behaviors, such as the number of offspring.

The dwarf snakehead can also hardly be distinguished from another closely related Channa species, Channa harcourtbutleri, inhabiting Lake Inlé in Myanmar.

In Manipur, India it is locally known as Ngamu (Nga mu), it is found throughout canals, rivers and lakes of Manipur.

From Karawang, West Java


  1. ^ a b Courtenay, Jr., Walter R. and James D. Williams. Chiana Gachua Archived August 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. USGS Circular 1251: Snakeheads (Pisces, Chinnidae) - A Biological Synopsis and Risk Assessment. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. 2004-04-01. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  2. ^

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