|Bullseye snakehead protecting young|
(F. Hamilton, 1822)
Channa marulius (bullseye snakehead or great snakehead) is a large species of snakehead native to South and Southeast Asia, as well as southern China. It has been introduced to the United States, where considered invasive.
It is a widespread native fish. In South India, it is commonly found in reservoirs. It is found in Pechpparai, Chittar, Manimuthar, Bhvani and Mettur dams of Tamil Nadu and Thenmalai, Neyyar and Idukki dams of Kerala. It can also be found in the reservoirs of Himachal Pradesh such as the Pong Dam (Maharana Pratap Sagar), where it is known locally as soal. C. marlius is commonly known as giant murrel. In Assam it is locally known as xaal. They are faster-growing fish than most of the other species of the genus. At times they are sold live and fetch high prices in the market, due to their excellent tasting flesh and lack of fine bones. They are suitable for intensive culture due to their air-breathing habit.
In Manipur, India, it is called porom. It is a popular local cuisine item. It is found in canals, rivers and lakes of the region. In Loktak lake, Bishnupur district, Manipur, it has become one of the top predatory fish due to acute decline of other predatory fish, Usually it is found in the wild, but it is now farmed to meet the increasing demand in local markets. In Telangana, India, it is called Korrameenu, and is quite common in lakes and reservoirs.
In the United States
In the United States, it can be found in waterways throughout South Florida originating from the C-14 Canal where the species was first introduced. Chances of this warm water species migrating to Northern Florida are slim. The bullseye snakehead has not been documented outside of Florida in the United States.
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