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gourami(go͞orä`mē), tropical freshwater fish of the labyrinth fish suborder. Like other members of that suborder, gouramis have a labyrinthine breathing apparatus connected to each gill chamber that enables them to utilize atmospheric oxygen. They can therefore live in oxygen-poor water. Gouramis are native to SE Asia and Africa. The true gourami, Osphronemus goramy, reaches a length of 2 ft (60 cm). It originated in Indonesia, but has been introduced in China and S Asia, where it is cultivated as an important food fish. Certain smaller members of the family, popular as aquarium fishes, are also called gouramis, but the best known, the white, 10-in.(25-cm) long kissing gourami (Helostoma temmincki) is now classified in the family Helostomatidae. Other popular gouramis are the moonlight gourami (Trichogaster microlepis) of Thailand, a 6-in. (15-cm) long, silvery-blue fish with long, threadlike ventral fins, and other Trichogaster species. The talking, or croaking, gourami (Trichopsis vittatus), a 2-in. (5-cm) long fish, is noted for the curious sounds produced by the males when they surface for air at night. The labyrinth fishes also include the bettabetta
or fighting fish,
small, freshwater fish of the genus Betta, found in Thailand and the Malay Peninsula. Best known is the Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens. Mature males of this species are about 2 in. (5 cm) long. In its native waters B.
..... Click the link for more information. , or fighting fish, and the paradise fishparadise fish,
brilliantly colored freshwater Asian fish, Macropodus opercularis, often kept in aquariums. The males reach a length of 3 in. (7.6 cm) and turn reddish with blue bars during mating season.
..... Click the link for more information. , which are in the same family as the gourami, and the so-called climbing perchclimbing perch,
or walking fish,
any of several fish of the family Anabantidae, adapted to living in oxygen-depleted water or on dry land. They are not related to the true perch.
..... Click the link for more information. , climbing gourami, or walking fish, which is in the family Anabantidae. True gouramis are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Osphronemidae.
(Osphronemus goramy), a fish of the suborder Anabantoidei of the order Percomorphi. With a body reaching a length of 60 cm, it has a bright and attractive coloration. The pelvic fins have one stiff spine and five soft rays, the first of which is a long supple filament that serves as a tactile organ. The gourami feeds mostly on aquatic plants. It builds a simple egg-shaped nest from air bubbles and plants, where it deposits its eggs. Its natural area of distribution is the Malay archipelago; however, it has been introduced into India, China, Africa, and Australia. The gourami is widely cultivated in ponds. Its flesh is very tasty. The pearl and three-spot gourami, which belong to the genus Trychogaster, are aquarium fish.
REFERENCENikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1954.
ll’in, M. N. Akvariumnoe rybovodstvo, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.