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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Giant Gouramy

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5




Order : Perciformes
Species : Osphronemus goramy
Maximum Length : 70 cm

The Giant Gouramy is the largest of all gouramies reaching, in exceptional cases, a maximum length of 70 cm. In its native range it inhabits lakes, open swamps and large rivers, but will enter shallow waters of less than a metre in depth when feeding.

It is largely a solitary fish, preferring areas of aquatic vegetation, where it feeds on water plants and vertebrates such as amphibians and other fishes.

It is deep-bodied and laterally compressed. The dorsal, pelvic and anal fins are large, but are often flattened against the body when swimming. The tail fin is rounded.

The head is pale to medium grey, and the body dark grey. The mouth is upwardly-turned, and the lips are fleshy and plump. In males, the forehead is somewhat swollen.

It is a bubble-nest breeder. Juveniles possess dark vertical bars on the flanks.

The species occurs naturally in Indochina, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and Java.

The species has been widely introduced, as it is consumed as a table fish. In Singapore it has adapted well after introduction into man-made reservoirs in the centre of the island.

Figs 1 to 3 : Giant Gouramy in shallow water at the margins of a man-made reservoir.

Fig 4 : This specimen has an atypical black marking on its forehead.

Fig 5 : Close-up of the upturned mouth.

All images from Singapore.

References : F1