Channa punctatus
Channa punctatus


Ophicephalus punctatus Bloch, 1794, Nat. Ausland.Fische. 7, p.388.

Ophiocephalus punctatus Day, 1878, Fishes of India. p.367.

Ophicephalus punctatus Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937, Fishes of Northern Bangal. p.123.

Ophicephalus punctatus Bhuiyan, 1964, Fishes of Dacca. p.95.

Common name: Spotted snakehead

Local name: Lata, taki, okol

Taxonomy position:

Phylum- Chordata


Order- Channiformes

Family- Channidae

Genus- Channa Scopoli

Fin formula:

D. 29-32;  P1. 15-18;  P2. 6;  A. 20-22. (Rahman, 2005)

Description of the species:

Length of head is 3.2-3.5 of total length and 2.7 of standard length (Rahman, 1989). Eyes comparatively of small size and located on the anterior of head. Two pairs of nostril are found at the anterior superior angle of the eyes. Lower jaw is slightly protruding. Teeth on lower jaw are conical. Barbells are absent. Scales are large and on head irregular. Pectoral fin position is a little above the pelvic fin and caudal fin long and rounded. Body colour in live brown on the back, fading to lighter beneath, not spotted or striated. According the Bhuiyan (1964), maximum length is 30 cm whereas Rahman (1989) reported this fish attains over 240 mm in total length.

Habit and Habitat:

According to Bhatti (1934), C. panctatus burrows in mud and prefers stagnant and muddy to running waters. It is carnivorous. It constructs a nest of floating weeds, moves over ground from pool to pool. It is voracious and predatory to small fish and fries.

Economic importance:

This fish has great economic importance because it is eaten as food. Flesh is good and good commercial value.

Status and conservation:

Less catch in river or running water but good catch in flood plains, beels etc. Not listed in IUCN red list as threatened. Water pollution mainly agricultural and industrial pollution and poisoning are potential threats.


Bhatti, 1934. Habit and habitats of the food fishes of the Punjab. J. Bombay. Nat. Hist. Soc. Bombay37(3): 657-662.

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.

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

Rahman, A.K.A. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh. The Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000. 364 pp.

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.

Shaw and Shebbeare, 1937, The Fishes of Northern Bangal.  Journal of Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal Science. p.124.

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Channa punctatus

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Md. Abul Bashar

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

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