Introduced in Japan from Taiwan in 1906, in Hawaii (and now present elsewhere in North America) from China (1900-1924) and in Madagascar from China (1976-1978).
Yangtze River Benthopelagic Habitat
This taxon is one of a number of benthopelagic species in the Yangtze River system. Benthopelagic fish inhabit the water column niche immediately above the bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton.
The upper Yangtze basin consists chiefly of Paleozoic limestone and terrigenous sedimentary rock, with some granitic material. The most downstream element of the upper Yangtze basin is often termed the Sichuan Basin; here the Yangtze cuts through Triassic and Permian material before entering the Three Gorges. The Three Gorges area is a stretch of the Yangtze that runs approximately 660 kilometers, terminating at the site of the Three Gorges Dam. Prior to construction of the dam, the Three Gorges area was a site of exceptional natural beauty; after dam construction the gorge areas were filled with approximately 100 meters in depth of Yangtze water, and considerable amounts of the watershed were graded.
The lower Yangtze basin consists of anabranching river structures and Pleistocene coastal terraces. Prior to development of the Three Gorges Dam, the Yangtze Delta was replenished with a copious sediment load reaching the river mouth; however, the dam has now severely limited the natural flow and deposition of sediment to the delta region. Consequently, the integrity of the delta is been compromised, with scouring exceeding deposition, and the very stability of the delta is endangered.
Lower and middle basins of the Yangtze carry heavy pollutant loads. In the lower Yangtze basin nitrate levels are high, measuring at about 1000 tons per day at Datong; these levels accrue from high applications of chemical fertilizer applied and also considerable loadings of untreated sewage due to the large human population of the basin, with correspondingly little infrastructure for sewage treatment.
Heavy metal concentrations are also high in the lower Yangtze, with measurements of dissolved lead at 0.078 microgram/liter; cadmium (0.024 microgram/liter), chromium (0.57 microgram/liter), copper (1.9 microgram/liter), and nickel (0.50 microgram/liter). Levels of dissolved arsenic have been measured at 3.3 microgram/liter) and zinc at 1.5 microgram/liter), both notably higher by factors of 5.5 and 2.5 respectively than other typical large world rivers. In Yangtze River suspended sediment, arsenic comprises 31 microgram/gram, lead comprises 83 microgram/gram, and nickel comprises 52 micrograms/gram of sediment content
A number of other benthopelagic associates are found in the Yangtze, including: Anabarilius polylepis, Bangana rendahli, Pseudogyrinocheilus prochilus, Sinocyclocheilus grahami and Siniperca roulei. The demersal fish Silurus meridionalis also is found as a Yangtze River endemic species.
Habitat and Ecology
The species inhabits silty and weedy bottoms of still water or slow-running river with lots of caves and aquatic vegetation to hide (Huang et al. 1987). It is able to breath atmospheric air (Liem 1987) which allows the species to survive in moist condition outside water over long periods (Courtenay and Williams 2004). Ambush predator, feed on small fish, shrimp and frogs (Man and Hodgkiss 1981). Parents build bubble nests and lay eggs below
Distinct pairing during breeding in shallow freshwater areas amid plants (Breeder 1966). Oviparous. Reproduction season in May to October depend on each region. At this time, they live in a couple, nesting near pond dikes, rice farm and rivers. They usually remove all aquatic plants to make a nest 0.4 - 0.6 m2 large to spawn. Eggs float on water face and stick to each other. Male and female stay around nest to protect and nurse juvenile until juvenile can search for feed and escape from enemy by themselves.
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Channa maculata
No available public DNA sequences.
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Channa maculata
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
The blotched snakehead, Channa maculata, is a species of snakehead native to southern China and northern Vietnam, but has been widely introduced to other countries, where it is an invasive species. This predatory species typically grows to a length of 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in), but it has been confirmed at 33 cm (13 in) and some suggest it may reach a far larger size.
|Wikispecies has information related to: Blotched snakehead|
- "Channa maculata". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Channa maculata" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
- "Channa maculata (Lacepde, 1802)". United States Geological Survey. November 23, 2009.
- SeriouslyFish: Channa maculata. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
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