From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Temporal range: Eocene–present
Dwarf gourami (Trichogaster lalius)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anabantiformes
Suborder: Anabantoidei
Family: Osphronemidae
van der Hoeven, 1832
Subfamilies & genera

see text

Gouramis, or gouramies /ɡʊˈrɑːmi/, are a group of freshwater anabantiform fish that comprise the family Osphronemidae. The fish are native to Asia—from the Indian Subcontinent to Southeast Asia and northeasterly towards Korea. The name "gourami", of Indonesian origin, is also used for fish of the families Helostomatidae and Anabantidae.

Many gouramis have an elongated, feeler-like ray at the front of each of their pelvic fins. All living species show parental care until fry are free swimming: some are mouthbrooders, like the Krabi mouth-brooding betta (Betta Simplex), and others, like the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), build bubble nests. Currently, about 133 species are recognised, placed in four subfamilies and about 15 genera.

The name Polyacanthidae has also been used for this family. Some fish now classified as gouramis were previously placed in family Anabantidae. The subfamily Belontiinae was recently demoted from the family Belontiidae. As labyrinth fishes, gouramis have a lung-like labyrinth organ that allows them to gulp air and use atmospheric oxygen.[1] This organ is a vital adaptation for fish that often inhabit warm, shallow, oxygen-poor water.[1] Gouramis can live for 1-5 years.

The earliest fossil gourami is Omblinichthys from the early-mid Eocene Sangkarewang Formation of Sumatra, Indonesia. A second fossil taxon from the same formation, known from several specimens and tentatively assigned to Osphronemus goramy when analyzed in the 1930s, is now lost.[2]

Subfamilies and genera[edit]

The family Osphronemidae is divided into the following subfamilies and genera:[3][4]

As food[edit]

Giant gouramis, Osphronemus goramy, or Kaloi in Malay language, are eaten in some parts of the world. In Maritime Southeast Asian countries, they are often deep-fried and served in sweet-sour sauce, chili sauce, and other spices. The paradise fish, Macropodus opercularis, and other members of that genus are the target of a cannery industry in China, the products of which are available in Asian supermarkets around the world. Gouramis are particularly found in Sundanese cuisine.[5]

In Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, gouramis are readily fished at streams, brooks, canal, rivers and many more large water area systems.

In the aquarium[edit]

Female three spot gourami breathing air

Numerous gourami species, such as the dwarf gourami, pearl gourami, are popular aquarium fish widely kept throughout the world. They are sought after due to their bright colours and relative intelligence, being able to recognise their owners and "greeting" them,[6] having a desire to explore the plants and rocks placed across their aquarium,[7] and displaying extensive paternal care with the males protecting the eggs until they hatch, and building a foam raft to keep them afloat.[7] As labyrinth fish, they will often swim near the top of the tank in order to breathe air.[8] As with other tropical freshwater fish, an aquarium heater is often used. Gouramis will eat either prepared or live foods. Some species can grow quite large and are unsuitable for the general hobbyist. Big gouramis may become territorial with fish that are colourful and a comparable size to them, however that generally depends on the individual's temperament, as some gourami will be more tolerant of tankmates than others.[9][10] Gouramis may nip at other fish, and males should never be kept together as they will become aggressive.[8]


Generally regarded as peaceful, gouramis are still capable of harassing or killing smaller or long-finned fish. Depending on the species, adult and juvenile males have been known to spar with one another. Aggression can also occur as a result of overcrowding.

Gouramis have been housed with many species, such as danios, mollies, silver dollars, Neon tetras, and plecostomus catfish. Compatibility depends on the species of gourami and the fish it is housed with. Some species (e.g., Macropodus or Belontia) are highly aggressive or predatory and may harass or kill smaller or less aggressive fish; whereas, others (Parosphromenus and Sphaerichthys, for instance) are very shy or have specific water requirements and thus will be outcompeted by typical community fish.


See also[edit]

The name "gourami" is used of several other related fish that are now placed in different families:


  1. ^ a b Hellweg, Mike (July 16, 2023). "Gorgeous Little Gouramis". Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Murray, A M.; Zaim, Y.; Rizal, Y.; Aswan, Y.; Gunnell, G F.; Ciochon, R L. (2015-03-04). "A fossil gourami (Teleostei, Anabantoidei) from probable Eocene deposits of the Ombilin Basin, Sumatra, Indonesia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 35 (2): e906444. doi:10.1080/02724634.2014.906444. ISSN 0272-4634.
  3. ^ J. S. Nelson; T. C. Grande; M. V. H. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). Wiley. p. 390. ISBN 978-1-118-34233-6. Archived from the original on 2019-04-08. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  4. ^ Richard van der Laan; William N. Eschmeyer & Ronald Fricke (2014). "Family-group names of Recent fishes". Zootaxa. 3882 (2): 001–230. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3882.1.1. PMID 25543675.
  5. ^ "ikan gurame – Resep Kuliner Indonesia dan Dunia". kuliner.ilmci.com. Archived from the original on 2019-04-11. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  6. ^ Roberts, Jason (October 28, 2020). "Do Fish Recognize Their Owners?".
  7. ^ a b D. L. Kramer (1973). "Parental Behaviour in the Blue Gourami Trichogaster trichopterus (Pisces, Belontiidae) and Its Induction during Exposure to Varying Numbers of Conspecific Eggs". Behaviour. 47 (1/2): 14–32. doi:10.1163/156853973X00256. JSTOR 4533539 – via JSTOR.
  8. ^ a b "Gouramis Care Guide". www.aqueon.com.
  9. ^ "5 Best Tank Mates for Betta Fish in a Community Aquarium". Aquarium Co-Op.
  10. ^ "Are Gouramis Aggressive? | Gourami Forum | 64086". FishLore Aquarium Fish Forum. 13 February 2010.
  • Goldstein, Howard (September 2005). "Searching for the Pygmy Gourami". Tropical Fish Hobbyist. 54 (1): 93. ISSN 0041-3259.
  • Tan, HH and P Ng (2006). "Six new species of fighting fish (Telestei: Osphronemidae: Betta) from Borneo". Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. 17 (2): 97–114.