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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snakeheads

Suborder Channoidei


Snakeheads are freshwater predatory fishes with a large robust head. There are 5 species in Singapore - 4 native and 1 introduced. The Common Snakehead (Channa striata) is the snakehead one is likely to encounter. It is generally brown in colour with faint stripes on the flanks. The Giant Snakehead (Channa micropeltes) is the largest snakehead species reaching 1 m in length. The adult has a distinctive dorsal stripe pattern. The juvenile lacks this pattern, but has the longitudinal stripe at the side of the body. It is however not a native to Singapore waters. The Black Snakehead (Channa melasoma) may appear all black or with just the fins black.

Snakeheads (Family Channidae)
Common Snakehead Channa striata
Dwarf Snakehead Channa gachua
Giant Snakehead Channa micropeltes - Introduced
Forest Snakehead Channa lucius
Black Snakehead Channa melasoma


Black Snakehead at Peirce area ©Ben Lee


Giant Snakehead at Lower Peirce ©Ben Lee


Common Snakehead at Botanic Gardens ©Lau SY


Common Snakeheads at Lower Peirce ©Tan KH


Common Snakehead at Chinese Garden ©Tan KH


Common Snakehead at Kramji Marsh ©Tan KH


Common Snakehead with its fries at Botanic Garden ©Tan KH

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