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Related to snakehead: northern snakehead


common name for members of the family Channidae, hardy freshwater fish native to S and E Asia and tropical Africa, where they are a popular food fish. Snakeheads are elongated fishes with long dorsal and anal fins, small heads, large mouths, sharp teeth, and slimy skin. They use primitive lungs as well as gills to breathe, and some are able to migrate over land. Voracious predatory fish, they feed mostly on other fish. A number of the species are raised in aquaculture in their native ranges. The northern snakehead (Channa argus) and the giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes), both of which may exceed 40 in. (1 m) in length, have been found as introduced species in the United States since 2002, where they have no natural enemies and are considered invasive.



(Ophicephalus argus), a freshwater fish of the order Ophiocephaloidea. The body is elongated (up to 85 cm long) and weighs up to 7 kg. The dorsal and anal fins are long. The head is flattened and covered with scales and looks like the head of a snake (hence the name); the mouth opening is large.

The snakehead has an epibranchial organ for breathing air; the fish can live in polluted waters and even out of water (for several days). It is found in the Amur basin and Lake Khanka, and also in China and Korea. It lives alone or in small groups, feeding on small fish and bottom organisms. Spawning takes place in June and July in several sessions. The average egg capacity is 7,300. The eggs are pelagic. The snakehead builds a large nest (up to 1 m in diameter) out of stalks and leaves at the surface of the water. The larvae stay near the nest; the fish reach sexual maturity in the third year. Snakeheads have some commercial importance. In some places they are raised by stocking ponds with larvae. Snake-heads have been acclimatized in Middle Asia.


Berg, L. S. Ryby presnykh vod SSSR i sopredel’nykh stran, 4th ed., part 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Pmmyslovve ryby SSSR. Moscow, 1949.


References in periodicals archive ?
The snakehead, commonly called a 'Frankenfish' is due Virginia state recognition.
The first thing the snakehead will do is dive for its nearest underwater hidden snag, and then jump out of the water like a tarpon, to try and shake the hook loose.
One such rise south of Kodiak Island known as Snakehead Bank accounted for 46% of the northern rockfish catch during the 1990s (Clausen and Heifetz, 2002).
In addition to Asian carp and northern snakehead, aquarium clams and snails like the Asiatic clam, and the banded and oriental mystery snails have established populations throughout the region.
He will be at the book store between 2pm and 5pm, to launch Snakehead which includes a new bonus chapter.
Anthony Horowitz will be in the North East next week to launch Snakehead and also to talk to young people in the Roycroft Unit at St Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle, which treats those with a history of offending due to mental health problems.
But the Environment Agency tried to allay fears of a giant snakehead invasion in Britain, saying the species of Channidae would stand little chance of surviving a winter in the East Midlands.
The highly predatory snakehead whipped up a panic when it was first spotted slithering through Maryland waters in 2003.
The jury had heard from an immigration investigator that Snakeheads charge pounds 20,000 for taking people from China to Britain.
Unlike most of what's shown on the Sci Fi Channel, the plot of Snakehead Terror edges uncomfortably close to reality.
The snakehead fish, best known lately as a threat to U.
A Glendale man was arrested Friday on suspicion of illegally importing the northern snakehead fish, a banned species that can breathe air, walk on land and devour native fish and animals.