What comes to your mind when you think about Giant Snakehead Fish (also called Toman Fish), do you think about its fish meat that is sold in supermarkets and wet markets? What other aspects of this fish are you aware of? Whatever you may or may not know about this fish, do consider coming on this journey with me as we get to know a little bit more about the Giant Snakehead Fish. Are you interested? Great! Without further ado, let us now begin.
- A fish that goes by many names
One interesting aspect of the Giant Snakehead Fish is the many names that it has. In English it goes by a few names that include the names Giant Snakehead Fish and Indonesian Snakehead Fish. It is sometimes incorrectly called by the name Red Snakehead Fish due to the young Giant Snakehead Fish having a red colouration. Besides these English terms the Giant Snakehead Fish also has the scientific name Channa micropeltes. A question may also arise in your mind regarding the names of this fish in other languages. Let us take a look at some of them with the help of the following table.
|Ikan Tomang||Bahasa Indonesia|
|பெரிய விரால் மீன் (Periya Viraal Meen)||Tamil|
|വാകവരാൽ (Vaaka Varaal)||Malayalam|
|小盾鱧 (Xiǎo dùn lǐ)||Simplified Chinese|
|ปลาชะโด (Plā chado)||Thai|
|Cá lóc bông||Vietnamese|
As can be seen from the table above, the Giant Snakehead Fish goes by many different and fascinating names.
- What is the native habitat range of Giant Snakehead Fish?
We now move on to the next topic, that is the habitat range of Giant Snakehead Fish. Giant Snakehead Fish are a fish that is a native species in places such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Singapore and many parts of Indonesia such as Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra as well as many other parts of Southeast Asia.
Furthermore, they are a freshwater fish and live in habitats such as ponds, reservoirs, lakes, streams, swamps and many other varieties of freshwater dwellings.
- Have Giant Snakehead Fish been introduced to other parts of the world?
Another question that may arise in your mind could be regarding whether or not Giant Snakehead Fish have been introduced to other parts of the world. Although the data for this is currently inconclusive, there have been reported sightings of Giant Snakehead Fish in parts of the United States of America. These places include Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Massachusetts to name a few areas in the USA. It has been speculated that a possible reason for these sightings could be due to these fish being released from aquariums.
- How big can Giant Snakehead Fish get?
Let us now go on to address the question of the size of Giant Snakehead Fishes. Based on observations, Giant Snakehead Fish can grow to lengths of up to 1 metre/39 Inches or more and can weigh in at about 20 kilograms or more.
- What is the lifespan of Giant Snakehead Fish?
With regards to the question of the lifespan of Giant Snakehead Fish, they have been observed to live up to 10 to 15 years of age or even more than that.
- Young Giant Snakehead Fish change colour as they mature
Another interesting characteristic that Giant Snakehead Fish have is the fact that they change colour as they mature. Young Giant Snakehead Fish are red in colour. After 2 months their colour changes to a mix of yellow, orange and red (the orange colour is particularly located at the centre of its body while the tail of Giant Snakehead Fish is red in colour.) 1 year after this, the colour of young Giant Snakehead Fish changes again to a mixture of black and white.
- Giant Snakehead Fish are sometimes kept as pets
Yet another fascinating thing about Giant Snakehead Fish is the fact that they are sometimes kept as pets in countries where they are not banned. A prominent country where it is banned is the USA that has banned the import and transport of all Snakehead Fish species due to their aggressive and domineering behaviour as well as their diverse diet, that is capable of upsetting the ecosystems in the USA because Snakehead Fish can outcompete the native organisms living in the freshwater habitats of that country. In countries where they are not banned it is advised that fishkeeping enthusiasts should have large tanks measuring up to 4 metres in length if they want to keep just a single Giant Snakehead Fish in their home because of how huge it can get.
Let us now recap what we have discussed so far.
|What we have learnt|
|1. We learnt about the different names of the Giant Snakehead Fish in both the English language as well as other languages.|
2. We learnt about the native habitat range of the Giant Snakehead Fish, which was the many freshwater habitats in various parts of Southeast Asia.
3. We explored the question of whether or not Giant Snakehead Fish have been introduced in countries outside its native range and discovered that investigations are still ongoing.
4. We discovered that Giant Snakehead Fish can grow to lengths of up to 1 metre/39 Inches or more and that they can weigh up to 20 kilograms or more.
5. With regards to the lifespan of Giant Snakehead Fish, it has been observed that they can live for up to 15 years or more.
6.We also got to know that young Giant Snakehead Fish change colour as they mature going from red to yellow orange and red as well as black and white.
7. Not only that, we also found out that Giant Snakehead Fish are kept as pets too in many countries except countries such as the USA and that they need large tanks that measure up to 4 metres in length just to be able to keep a single Giant Snakehead Fish due to its immense size.
An interesting learning experience
Over the course of our exploration, one thing has been made very clear. There is more to Giant Snakehead Fish than meets the eye. With what you know now, perhaps it can be said that you have acquired a new understanding of Giant Snakehead Fish, which is fantastic. Until our next journey together, remember to always look beyond first impressions, for there may be hidden gems of knowledge that are just waiting to be discovered.