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Channa aurantimaculata, Orangespotted Snakehead.


Banned in some 13 U.S. states and elsewhere, these elongate predators have become invasive species problems in areas where aquarists have released "pets" that became too large and destructive to maintain and unsafe to handle (they have a vicious bite).

They have a suprabranchial organ that allows them to breathe atmospheric air, and they are able to slither across land to move from one body of water to another.


Native range:

Taxonomic rank: Family

Common name: SNAKEHEADS

Total known Total profiles
Subfamilies 0 0
Genera 2 1
Species 29 4

Captive care: Not recommended for home aquaria. All Channa species are banned in the U.S., although the dwarf Rainbow Snakehead is popular in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Feeding: Carnivores. Feed on fishes, frogs, crustaceans, mollusks, small birds, and rats in the wild.

Notes: Do not release any aquarium fish into the wild. See Snakeheads: Invasive Aquatic Aliens. Return problem fish to the store where they were bought or euthanize with an overdose of clove oil. (See Fish Euthanasia.)





Reference: Fishes of the World
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: JSN