Channa striatus
Channa striatus


Ophicephalus striatus Bloch, 1794, Nat. Ausland.Fische. 7, p. 141.

Ophicephalus striatus Day, 1878, Fishes of India. p.366.

Common name: Striped or Banded snakehead

Local name: shol

Taxonomy position:

Phylum- Chordata



Family- Channidae

Genus- Channa Scopoli

Fin formula:

D. 42-46;  P1. 15-17;  P2. 6;  A. 24-27. (Rahman, 2005)

Description of the species:

Body almost cylindrical anteriorly somewhat compressed posteriorly. Anterior nasal opening produced into a tubular process. Pre annals absent large plate like scales on head. Mouth deeply cleft; maxilla extends half to one eye-diameter behind orbit. Lateral line is complete and curve. Scales are cycloid. Dorsal commences above the pectoral and it terminates behind the anal. Pectoral is moderate, pelvic short and caudal rounded. Colour varies with age and the habitat they live in. dark grey superiorly, becoming yellowish beneath lateral line with peninsulas of the dark colour extending into the yellow. Pectorals are plain.

Habit and Habitat:

The fish is carnivorous and subsists on a variety of living creatures including fish, frogs, snakes, insects, earth worms and tadpoles like all other members of the genus, this fish has the habit of setting in the bottom mud of the ponds, rivers, ditches as the water dry up and of going deeper and deeper into the mud as desiccation proceeds (Bhuiyan, 1964).

Economic importance:

Channa striatus is the most important (economically) member of the genus. The flesh is firm, practically boneless and of a most agreeable flavor. According to Huda (1959), fleshy edible portion of its body contains 1.1% fat and 78.3% water.

Status and conservation:

This fish is widely distributed in Barnai river (near Rajshahi) and not listed in IUCN red list as threatened. This species contribute to an important freshwater fishery and in great demand because of their pleasant testing flesh and presence of fewer bones. Further the fact that they breed in confined bodies of water makes them popular also in aquaculture. But Bhuiyan (1964), states that this fish may be infected by the larvae, of the nematode parasite, Gnathostome spinigerum. So, protect the diseases free environment or reduce up to limit for the conservation of the species.


Bhuiyan, A. L. 1964. Fishes of Dacca. Asiatic Society of Pakistan, Dacca.pp.148.

Bloch, 1794. Nat. Ausland. Fische. 7, p. 141.

Day, F. 1878. Fishes of India, being a natural history of fishes known to inhabit the seas and freshwaters of India, Burma and Ceylon. William Dawson & Sons Ltd., London, Vol. I: 778 pp.

Huda, A. K. M. S. 1959. Further observation on the fat content of East Pakistan fishes. Proc. Conf. Fish. Officers, Govt. of East Pakistan.

Rahman, A.K.A. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh (Second edition). The Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000. 394 pp.

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Channa striatus

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Md. Abul Bashar

Ex-student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. More...

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