Channa striata  (Bloch, 1793)

Striped snakehead
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Channa striata
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Channidae (Snakeheads)
Etymology: Channa: Greek, channe, -es = an anchovy (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - 8.0; dH range: ? - 20; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 10 m (Ref. 2686), usually 1 - 2 m (Ref. 4515).   Tropical; 23°C - 27°C (Ref. 1672); 35°N - 18°S

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 18.0, range 23 - ? cm
Max length : 100.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2686); common length : 61.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 44091); max. published weight: 3.0 kg (Ref. 40637)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 38-43; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 23 - 27. Body sub-cylindrical; head depressed; caudal fin rounded (Ref. 2847). The dorsal surface and sides is dark and mottled with a combination of black and ochre, and white on the belly; a large head reminiscent of a snake's head; deeply-gaping, fully toothed mouth; very large scales (Ref. 44091).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Asia: Pakistan to Thailand and south China. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults inhabit ponds, streams and rivers, preferring stagnant and muddy water of plains (Ref. 41236). Found mainly in swamps, but also occurs in the lowland rivers. More common in relatively deep (1-2 m), still water. Very common in freshwater plains (Ref. 4515, 57235). Occur in medium to large rivers, brooks, flooded fields and stagnant waters including sluggish flowing canals (Ref. 12975). Survive dry season by burrowing in bottom mud of lakes, canals and swamps as long as skin and air-breathing apparatus remain moist (Ref. 2686) and subsists on the stored fat (Ref. 1479). Feed on fish, frogs, snakes, insects, earthworms, tadpoles (Ref. 1479) and crustaceans (Ref. 2847). Undertake lateral migration from the Mekong mainstream, or other permanent water bodies, to flooded areas during the flood season and return to the permanent water bodies at the onset of the dry season (Ref. 37770). During winter and dry season, its flesh around coelomic cavity is heavily infested by a larval trematode Isoparorchis hypselobargi. Other parasites infecting this fish include Pallisentis ophicephali in the intestine and Neocamallanus ophicepahli in the pyloric caecae (Ref. 1479). Processed into pra-hoc, mam-ruot, and mam-ca-loc (varieties of fish paste) in Kampuchea (Ref.4929). Perhaps the main food fish in Thailand, Indochina and Malaysia (Ref. 2686). Firm white flesh almost bone-free, heavy dark skin good for soup and usually sold separately (Ref. 2686). In Hawaiian waters the largest specimen taken reportedly exceeded 150 cm (Ref. 44091). Very economic important on both cultures and captures throughout southern and southeastern Asia (Ref. 57235).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Breeds in ditches, ponds and flooded paddy fields. Young shoal at the surface and are guarded by the male parent (Ref. 54793), hiding below the surface water (Ref. 1479). In captivity, as soon as the male bends its body close to the female during mating, milt is released following the release of the eggs (Ref. 45162).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

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. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Potential pest (Ref. 2847)




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(Aquaculture: production; fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01096 (0.00825 - 0.01456), b=2.92 (2.85 - 2.99), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.45 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.21; tm=1.5; Fec = 324).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.