Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Anabantiformes
(Gouramies, snakeheads) > Helostomatidae
Etymology: Helostoma: Greek, helo = nail + Greek, stoma = mouth (Helos has the "e" long) (Ref. 45335). More on author: Cuvier.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5 - 19; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 2 - ? m. Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672); 16°N - 6°S
Asia: Thailand to Indonesia.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7050)
Occurs in lakes and rivers (Ref. 56749). An air-breathing species (Ref. 118402). Prefers slow-moving water with thick vegetation. Feeds on a variety of plants and animals, including green algae and zooplankton (Ref. 6459) as well as aquatic insects near the water surface (Ref. 12693). Utilized fresh for steaming, pan-frying, broiling and baking (Ref. 9987); also processed as dried or salted fish; ripe ovaries are collected and separately eaten (Ref. 56749). Large quantities of small fish are exported for aquarium use in Japan, Europe, North America, Australia and other parts of the world (Ref. 9987). Very popular with aquarists due to its habit of sucking its lips and kissing other fishes, plants and other objects (Ref. 4833). Aquarium keeping: not recommended for home aquariums; minimum aquarium size 150 cm (Ref. 51539).
Spawning usually occurs under floating vegetation. Eggs hatch in a day and fry become free-swimming 2 days after.
Kottelat, M., 2013. The fishes of the inland waters of Southeast Asia: a catalogue and core bibliography of the fishes known to occur in freshwaters, mangroves and estuaries. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 2013 (Suppl. 27):1-663. (Ref. 94476)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: highly commercial
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01995 (0.00906 - 0.04395), b=3.01 (2.83 - 3.19), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.8 ±0.33 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Assuming tm<=1; Fec=40,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (16 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 129 [42, 738] mg/100g ; Iron = 1.27 [0.61, 2.94] mg/100g ; Protein = 18.5 [15.6, 20.6] % ; Omega3 = 0.249 [0.104, 0.572] g/100g ; Selenium = 45.1 [21.8, 101.0] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 28.6 [7.9, 107.5] μg/100g ; Zinc = 1.89 [0.98, 4.61] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.