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Anabas testudineus (Bloch, 1792)

Climbing perch
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Philippines country information

Common names: Alalo, Alito, Arraro
Occurrence: introduced
Salinity: freshwater
Abundance: common (usually seen) | Ref:
Importance: commercial | Ref:
Aquaculture: commercial | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: live export: yes;
Comments: Status to be confirmed. Recorded as introduced (Ref. 6565). May be a native fish due to museum records dating back to 1901 (USNM 00126367) (Ref. 38732). Found in slow streams, ditches, ponds, and lakes, but not in the mountains (Ref. 2854). Reported from Laguna de Bay (Ref. 80864); museum specimens collected in 1984 from the south bay, LRS-84128 (Ref. 13460) and Sta. Maria River, in Laguna; Lake Buhi, Camarines Sur; Lake Naujan, Mindoro (Ref. 13446); San Fernando, La Union; Rosales, La Union; Tacloban, Leyte; Lake Buluan and the rivers of Cotabato (Rio Grande and Fort Pikit) (Ref. 280). A specimen was caught in 1989 with hook and line from Lake Manguao, Palawan (Ref. 13489). Known from Lake Buluan (Ref. 13492) and Lake Lanao (Ref. 13446, 95183). Also recorded from Lake Mainit, Mindanao (Ref. 50320, 13446, 81829), reported from Kalinawan River (Ref. 81829). Considered a tasty but bony food fish (Ref. 6565). Used in the aquarium trade (Ref. 12157). Reported from Manguao Lake in a 2003 study, common in the the littoral zone in vegetation, inflows and rice field ; known for its ability to walk overland to find larger water bodies (Ref. 50862). Reported from Lake Lanao, Lake Taal (Ref. 13446). Collected from CLSU fish pond, Nueva Ecija as specimen for living fish museum (Ref. 81820). Also Ref. 4835, 4833, 7050, 12744, 43638.
National Checklist:
Country Information:
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Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Herre, A.W.C.T., 1953
National Database:

Common names from other countries

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Anabantiformes (Gouramies, snakeheads) > Anabantidae (Climbing gouramies)
Etymology: Anabas: Greek, anabasis = climbing up (Ref. 45335).
  More on author: Bloch.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - ? m (Ref. 4833).   Tropical; 22°C - 30°C (Ref. 1672); 28°N - 10°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Asia: India to Wallace line including China. May have been distributed in more areas than were commonly reported.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4833); common length : 12.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2686)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 16 - 20; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7-10; Anal spines: 9-11; Anal soft rays: 8 - 11. Color in life dark to pale greenish, very pale below, back dusky to olive; head with longitudinal stripes ventrally; posterior margin of opercle with a dark spot; iris golden reddish. Body form variable, affected by age and amount of food consumed. Scaled head with 4-5 rows between eye and rear margin of preoperculum. Scales large and regularly arranged, ciliate.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Obligate air-breathing (Ref. 126274); Found mostly in canals, lakes, ponds, swamps and estuaries (Ref. 41236, 57235). Adults occur in medium to large rivers, brooks, flooded fields and stagnant water bodies including sluggish flowing canals (Ref. 12975). Often found in areas with dense vegetation (Ref. 12693). Can tolerate extremely unfavorable water conditions and is associated mainly with turbid, stagnant waters (Ref. 6028). They remain buried under the mud during dry season (Ref. 1479). Feed on macrophytic vegetation, shrimps and fish fry (Ref. 6028). Reported to undertake lateral migration from the Mekong mainstream, or other permanent water bodies, to flooded areas during the flood season and return to the permanent water bodies at the onset of the dry season (Ref. 37770). During the dry season, they stay in pools associated with submerged woods and shrubs (Ref. 37770). Posses an accessory air-breathing organ (Ref. 2847). Able to survive for several days or weeks out of water if the air breathing organs can be kept moist (Ref. 1479). Quite famous for its ability to walk; important food fish in SE Asia, considered as a tasty food fish (Ref. 6565) but not of the finest quality since it is bony (Ref. 2686). Usually sold live in markets where it is kept alive for several days by keeping it moist (Ref. 12693). Economic foodfish in the Southeast Asia (Ref. 57235).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Guards eggs at the surface of hypoxic waters (Ref. 7471).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran, 1991. Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries. Volume 2. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, i-xxii + 543-1158, 1 pl. (Ref. 4833)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 10 August 2019

CITES (Ref. 128078)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Aquaculture: production; Fisheries: production; publication : search) | FishSource |

More information

Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

Estimates based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02344 (0.01723 - 0.03189), b=2.95 (2.86 - 3.04), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.0   ±0.4 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Assuming tm=1; K=1.4; Fec=40,000-80,000).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (15 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.