This week we received a good number of the interesting frogmouth catfishes of the species Chaca bankanensis from Sumatra. In contrast to the rather reddish animals we could import earlier (https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/chaca_bankanensis_en/), this time they are rather brown-black colored, probably an origin-related color characteristic.
Very interesting is that some animals have striking white colored eyes. At first we thought of a mechanical injury or a parasite, but both do not seem to apply, because in all corresponding animals both eyes are equally affected. In the macrophotography we can also see well that only the upper half of the iris is white, the pupil and the lower half of the iris, however, are sharply demarcated. Presumably this is a characteristic that sexually active males show, this seems to us at least the most plausible explanation of the phenomenon. Externally recognizable sexual characteristics are not yet known with certainty in Chaca, but in the top view of a presumed pair one recognizes quite well the possible sex differences (head width, ventral fins).
For our customers: the animals have code 408253 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Many species of snakehead look very attractive as juveniles. Channa bankanensis is no exception from that rule. The reason for the sometimes extraordinary change in coloration is the behaviour. Juvenile Channa are usually schooling fish. Depending on the species they swim in close schools up to a length of 3 cm or even 15 cm. The contrasting juvenile coloration has two basic reasons: first, it helps conspecifics to identify other fish as members of the same species, and second it confuseses predators for the silhouette of the single specimen is only hard to detect in a school.
Later on snakeheads become more and more solitary fish and the coloration becomes dull. Now camouflage is asked, for larger snakeheads are usually predators that feed on small other fish.
Channa bankanensis belongs to the medium sized species that attain a maximum length of 25-30 cm. The species is a typical blackwater inhabitant that lives in the wild in waters with a very acidic character: pH around 3! Luckily the do not demand this in aquaria. Channa banakanensis is distributed in Indonesia and Malaysia.
We currently have very pretty 4-6 cm long juveniles in stock.
For our customers: the animals have code 409021 on our stocklsit. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholeale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer