For the first time we received this splendid snakehead in the year 2011. It obviously represents a species unknown to science so far. I reminds one strongly to the far spread and variety rich species C. gachua, but the “Fireback” is much bigger, reaching 15 -20 cm (some sources give even 25 cm), it lacks the stripes in the pectoral fins, which are so characteristical for gachua and of course the “Fireback” has the broad, bright orange seams in the dorsal and the caudal fin that are responsible for its popular name. The geographical part of the popular name is misleading, the species originates from northern Thailand.
This species is – like all members of the C. gachua relationship – a mouthbrooder with biparental broodcare. Males and females can be distinguished best by a look from above. The males have a much broader head than the females.
With the exception of the breeding season these snakeheads are strictly solitary fish and keeping them together with other fish – it does not matter whether these fish are conspecifics or belong to a completely different group of fish – is always a high risk. Channa sp. Laos Fireback are large, predatory fish that need substantial food, like feeder fish, earthworms, mealworms, crickets and so on.
For our customers: the fish have code 409394 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Channa: ancient Greek, means “snapper”, probably referring to the airbreathing. gachua: after a native name for the fish in Bengal.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer