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Channa aurantimaculata Musikasinthorn, 2000
Orangespotted Snakehead

Channa aurantimaculata - Orangespotted Snakehead - click to enlarge

    Upper image: holotype, KUMF 3135, 190.8 mm standard length. Lower image: ventral view of head showing enlarged scales on lower jaw, paratype, KUMF 3136, 163.7 mm standard length. Reprinted with permission from Prachya Musikasinthorn, author, and Tomoki Sunobe, Secretary of the Ichthyological Society of Japan, from: Musikasinthorn, Prachya. 2000. Channa aurantimaculata, a new channid fish from Assam (Brahmaputra River basin), India, with designation of a neotype for C. amphibeus (McClelland, 1845). Ichthyol. Res. 47(1):27-32.

Original description: Channa aurantimaculata Musikasinthorn, 2000:27-32. Channa aurantimaculata, a new channid fish from Assam (Brahmaputra River Basin, India), with designation of a neotype for C. amphibeus (McClelland, 1845). Ichthyological Research, 47(1):27-37, figs. 1-5. Type locality: Dibrugarh town, Digrugarh, Assam, India. Holotype: KUMF 3135. Paratypes: KUMF 3136; NSMT-P 55735; ZSI uncataloged, collected with KUMF 3136.

Synonyms: No synonyms.

Common names: orangespotted snakehead; naga-cheng (Assam, India).

         Native range: Endemic to middle Brahmaputra River basin, northern Assam, India (Musikasinthorn, 2000).

         Introduced range: No introductions known.

         Size: To about 40 cm.

         Habitat preference: Forest streams, ponds, and swamps adjacent to the Brahmaputra River in subtropical rainforest conditions (Musikasinthorn, 2000).

         Temperature range: Unknown, except preferred habitat and known range is subtropical.

         Reproductive habits: No specific information, but probably a nest builder with pelagic eggs like the majority of channid fishes.

         Feeding habits: No information, but more than likely a carnivorous predator as adults.

         Characters: Patch of scales on gular part of head absent. Head elongated, mouth large, interorbital region almost flat. Dorsal fin rays 45-47; anal rays 28-30; lateral line scales 51-54; cheek scales 8-12; predorsal scales 13-15; total vertebrae 50-52; two large scales on each side of undersurface of lower jaw; pelvic fin length less than 50 percent of pectoral fin length; cephalic sensory pores single without satellite openings. Small conical teeth in premaxilla with an additional series of somewhat larger conical teeth anteromedially; small teeth and 3 large conical teeth on prevomer; a row of conical teeth with 5 or 7 large canines on each side of palatine; dentary with medium-sized conical teeth on each side, also with 5 to 6 large canine-like teeth (Musikasinthorn, 2000).

         Commercial importance in the United States: None known. Recently described species, not listed on aquarist-oriented websites and unknown for sale in live-food fish markets.

         Commercial importance in native range: No specific information, but reported in markets in Assam, India (Musikasinthorn, 2000).

         Environmental concerns: Unknown, but probably a predator on other fishes and invertebrates.

Distribution of Channa aurantimaculata - click to enlarge


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