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Giant Snakehead or Toman (introduced)
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


 

Order : Perciformes
Family : CHANNIDAE
Species : Channa micropeltes
Maximum Length : 100 cm

A fearsome fighter, the Giant Snakehead is regarded in Southeast Asia as a sport fish, which also happens to be good eating. The huge powerful jaws are lined with sharp teeth.

The species easily adapts to any freshwater habitat, including ponds, lakes, reservoirs, swamps, streams and drains. Eggs are laid in a sunken nest of vegetation near the shore, and the young are fiercely guarded by the parents. Fully grown specimens can cause severe injury to those who might inadvertently step near the nest, or threaten their young. Juveniles are striped brown and black, and travel in large shoals.

This is the largest of all Channa species. It occurs throughout Southeast Asia and has been introduced to some areas, such as Singapore. Recently, introduced Giant Snakeheads have been disrupting the ecology of some U.S. lakes.


Fig 1 : Adult specimen, measuring an estimated 80 cm from tip to tail, at Macritchie, Singapore.

Fig 2 : This species often comes to surface for a breath of air.

Fig 3 : An adult pair of Giant Snakehead keep a close eye on their brood of brightly coloured young, at Macritchie, Singapore.


References : F1