It was only in 1998 that this comparatively small species of snakehead was described as a separate species on its own. Before this the fish were thought to represent a geographical variety of the very far spread species Channa punctata. Channa panaw has a pretty far distribution in Burma, where it inhabits the area around the large rivers Sittang and Irrawaddy.
Channa panaw attains a maximum length of less than 20 cm and is one of the smaller species of snakehead. Despite the fish is not very colourful (although the golden shine on the body is quite attractive) it is one of the species that can be recommended for aquaria as it is comparatively peaceful. The photographed pair lived four days in the small phototank together without doing the slightest harm to each other. This is unthinkable for most other snakeheads, they would seriously hurt or even kill each other under these conditions. The females seem to be a bit bigger in Channa panaw, less colourful and the white seam in the anal fin is missing. However, the species has been kept in aquaria by far to seldom to give proofed informations regarding the external sexual differences.
For our customers: the fish have code 409215 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer