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Channa micropeltes


Channa micropeltes
Giant Snakehead
铅笔雷龙
The giant snakehead or giant mudfish (Channa micropeltes) is the largest in the family Channidae, capable of growing to over 1 meter in length (3.3 feet) and a weight of over 20 kilograms (44 pounds). It is widely distributed in the freshwater of South East Asia and some regions of India. Other names include red snakehead, redline snakehead, Malabar snakehead, and Ikan toman (where ikan is "fish" in both Indonesian and Malay). The giant snakehead is known in Thai language as Pla Chado
The young of the giant snakehead are red in color, with orange and black lateral stripes appearing after about two months. As the giant snakehead matures, they lose their stripes and redness, and instead develop a bluish black and white pattern on their upper body. 
Being a high level predator means that the giant snakehead eats almost everything in its way such as fish, amphibians and even small birds, but is not preyed upon by many other species because of the snakedhead's feared reputation. The giant snakehead is considered gregarious, with the young often following their mother closely. There have been reports of protective mother giant snakehead attacking men who have disturbed the snakehead's school of juveniles.
The species has the ability to crawl onto land and breathe air, although they are only able to do this in muddy or swampy areas, hence the nickname "mudfish".
Its ability to breathe air using a primitive lung located just behind the gills allows it to survive in stagnant water where oxygen levels are low, by coming to the surface and taking a small gulp of air. It also enables the snakehead to travel short distances on land, although it is unable to hunt while on land, as it cannot support itself at all with its small fins in comparison to its large body.
The giant snakehead is found in Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and possibly Burma. It has an oddly disjunctive distribution, inhabiting both Southeast Asia and southwest India, about 2500 km apart. It is theorized that the Indian population may be from an early human introduction, prior to the 19th century. In India it is found in southern Tamil Nadu and Kerala especially in Pechipparai, Chittar I & II, Neyyar and Temnalai Reservoirs. Ebanasar (1995) reported its distribution and Biology from these reservoirs.
Ebanasar (1995) has also conducted series of experiments on the biology, physiology and culture of this fish. It is reported that this fish is highly suitable for cage culture and culture in ponds in combination with tilapia. It is found to be an effective tool in controlling the overpopulation of tilapia and thus checks stunted growth of tilapia.
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