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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Common Snakehead or Aruan
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4


Fig 5


Fig 6
 

Order : Perciformes
Family : CHANNIDAE
Species : Channa striata
Maximum Length : 90 cm

The Common Snakehead or Aruan is the most easily encountered of all Channa species. It is considered good eating and has medicinal value as a soup tonic; it is easily found in many Southeast Asian markets.

The species inhabits a variety of waterways including ponds, lakes, streams and drains. The dorsal side is brown in colour, the flanks have faint, slightly oblique bands, and the belly is white. Juveniles are more orange in colour. As with the Giant Snakehead Channa micropeltes, the juvenile fish are raised in a well protected underwater nest.

The species ranges throughout the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia and has been introduced into many waterways.


Fig 1 : Resting at night in a clear, rural stream.

Fig 2 : A shoal of young fry in a shallow, rural pond.

Fig 3 : A shoal of recent hatchlings.

Fig 4 : Small adult amongst aquatic plants.

Fig 5 : A 30 cm specimen in shallow water at the edge of an inland reservoir.

Fig 6 :
Juvenile with distinctive oblique, dark stripes.

All photos taken in Singapore.


References : F1