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Reproduction

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Female gouramies use pheromones to attract males during spawning. The female deposits eggs into the water and they are collected by the male to deposit into the nest. The courting behavior of some gouramies is quite elaborate and spawning territory is maintained aggressively by the male.

Gouramies use air bubbles in constructing their nests. They create a nest of froth by expelling mucous-covered bubbles at the surface, often beneath leaves. After gathering the eggs, the male deposits them into the froth nest. The nest has a dual purpose: to keep the developing young close together for protection and to keep them near the water’s surface where it is well oxygenated.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); fertilization (External ); oviparous

Male gouramies guard the froth nest and maintain it by producing new bubbles as older ones break down. If juveniles try to leave the nest early, the male transports them back by carrying them in his mouth and spitting them back. In some genera (Macropodus and Betta) mouthbrooding has been reported as well.

Parental Investment: male parental care

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Behavior

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Gouramies use several forms of communication: Talking gouramies use croaking to communicate, a modified pelvic fin ray is used as a tactile organ, and chemical signals are used during mating. The former two are described in more detail in the Behavior section and the latter is discussed in Reproduction.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: choruses ; pheromones

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Conservation Status

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There are 11 species of concern within the genus Betta. Of these, three are listed as critically endangered, one is listed as endangered, and seven are listed as vulnerable. Additionally, Parosphromenus harveyi is listed as endangered, and Belontia signata and Malpulutta kretseri are listed as low risk depending on conservation efforts.

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Life Cycle

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After spawning, female gouramies release their eggs into the water. The eggs are gathered by the male and left in a nest near the surface until fry hatch.

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Comprehensive Description

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The Belontiidae family, commonly known as gouramies, is composed of approximately 12 genera and 46 species, and is the largest and most diverse family in the Anabantoidei suborder. Gouramies are restricted to fresh water and are capable of inhabiting stagnant, low-oxygen areas due to the existence of an air-breathing organ called the labyrinthine (in Physical Description below). In addition, the Belontiidae family contains some of the most popular fish in the aquaria trade. One species, Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish), has been in cultivation for over 100 years and captive individuals scarcely resemble the wild variety (see Economic Importance for Humans). Due to their pugnacious behavior, many gouramies have been used in behavioral studies as well (see Behavior).

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Benefits

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No specific information was found concerning any negative impacts to humans.

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Benefits

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Many gouramies are popular aquarium fishes because of their bright coloration, small size, and interesting reproductive behaviors. Members of the genus Betta, fighting fishes, have been used extensively in genetic and behavioral studies. Fighting fishes are also bred for entertainment and gambling in some countries. Finally, members of the genus Trichogaster have been cultured in ponds as food fish.

Experiments with Pseudosphromenus cupanus show that breathing air at the surface instead of consuming oxygen entirely from water lessens the absorption of toxic pollutants, which makes gouramies more effective in the biological control of insects. For example, mosquito larvae form the main diet of fish in the Betta genus. Each adult consumes approximately 10,000 to 15,000 mosquito larvae each year, significantly reducing the mosquito populations and mosquito-related illnesses.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; food ; research and education; controls pest population

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Associations

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Because gouramies are uniquely adapted to harsh conditions, such as hypoxia (water without oxygen) and desiccation, they are an important predator in the stagnant and intermittent waters of Asia. In addition, air breathing serves to protect gouramies from excessive water pollution so they play an important role in the biological control of insects in urban areas. This is discussed further in Economic Importance for Humans.

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Trophic Strategy

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Members of the genera Belontia, Trichopsis, and Macropodus are omnivores, while Trichogaster is primarily herbivorous, and Betta and Colisa are carnivorous, feeding on shrimp, fish and insects in or out of water. Colisa uses the same technique as archerfishes to prey on insects just above the water. Bullets of water are created by compressing the gill covers and forming a groove using the tongue and palate. The fish “shoots” insects out of overhanging vegetation with these bullets and eats them when they hit the water.

Primary Diet: carnivore (Piscivore , Eats eggs, Insectivore , Eats non-insect arthropods); herbivore ; omnivore

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Distribution

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All members of the Belontiidae family inhabit freshwater and are indigenous to Africa and Southern Asia. They can be found in Pakistan, India, China, Korea to the Malay archipelago, Indonesia and Borneo. However, due to their popularity in the aquarium trade and ease of transport, belontiids are frequently shipped far beyond their natural range. Several species that now live in the Philippines and United States originally escaped from the aquarium trade (Lever 1996 from Berra 2001 pg. 480, 487).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Introduced , Native ); ethiopian (Native )

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Habitat

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Gouramies are uniquely adapted to the stagnant waters of tropical areas. They inhabit swift streams, the backwaters of large rivers, brackish lagoons, and potholes. They are most common in stagnant areas with dense aquatic or overhanging vegetation. With the ability to breathe air directly from the atmosphere, gouramies are able survive in marginal to anoxic waters.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; freshwater

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds; rivers and streams; temporary pools

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural ; riparian

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Life Expectancy

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No specific information was found concerning lifespan or longevity for this family.

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Morphology

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Most gouramies are small (10 cm or less) and have elongate and cylindrical bodies. Others are deep-bodied and compressed. Gouramies have rounded tails and the anal fin base is much longer than the dorsal fin base in most species. In some gouramies, the first ray on the pelvic fin is elongated and is used as a tactile (touch-sensing) organ. After extensive breeding in captivity, the color and fin form have changed considerably in some gouramies. Sexual dimorphism has been reported for some members of this family.

One of two distinct physical features is the labyrinthine organ located above the gill chamber, which allows gouramies to breathe atmospheric air by capturing air bubbles from the surface water and holding them in the labyrinthine organ until they are expelled through the gill covers. “This unique organ is formed of highly vascularized, convoluted tissue, supported by an enlarged dorsal element of the gill arches” (Johnson, G.D. and A.C. Gill 1998). The bubbles taken in by gouramies are also important in hearing. Air bubbles are stored adjacent to membranous windows on either side of the cranium, which contains the inner ear. Slight vibrations picked up by the air bubble are easily transmitted to the inner ear through this membranous window. The second feature is a long body cavity that allows the swimbladder to extend into the caudal region. (Click here to see a fish diagram).

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes colored or patterned differently; sexes shaped differently

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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Associations

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One impact of predation on gouramies is the frequency and location of atmospheric air breathing. In the presence of predatory birds or fish, some gouramies hide in mats of aquatic vegetation and surface less frequently. Other gouramies form temporary schools when they come up in order to deter predators. This “synchronous air breathing” is discussed above in Behavior.

Known Predators:

  • birds (Aves)
  • fish (Actinopterygii)
  • humans (Homo sapiens)
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Jonna, R. 2003. "Osphronemidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Osphronemidae.html
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Gourami

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Gouramis, or gouramies /ɡʊˈrɑːmi/, are a group of freshwater anabantiform fishes that comprise the family Osphronemidae. The fish are native to Asia—from Pakistan and India to the Malay Archipelago and northeasterly towards Korea. The name "gourami", of Malay-Archipelago origin, is also used for fish of the families Helostomatidae and Anabantidae.

Many gouramis have an elongated, feeler-like ray at the front of each of their pelvic fins. All living species show parental care: some are mouthbrooders, and others, like the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), build bubble nests. Currently, about 133 species are recognised, placed in four subfamilies and about 15 genera.

The name Polyacanthidae has also been used for this family. Some fish now classified as gouramis were previously placed in family Anabantidae. The subfamily Belontiinae was recently demoted from the family Belontiidae. As labyrinth fishes, gouramis have a lung-like labyrinth organ that allows them to gulp air and use atmospheric oxygen. This organ is a vital innovation for fish that often inhabit warm, shallow, oxygen-poor water.

Subfamilies and genera

The family Osphronemidae is divided into the following subfamilies and genera:[1][2]

As food

Giant gouramis, Osphronemus goramy, or Kaloi in Malay language, are eaten in some parts of the world. In Malay Archipelago, they are often deep-fried and served in sweet-sour sauce, chili sauce, and other spices. The paradise fish, Macropodus opercularis, and other members of that genus are the target of a cannery industry in China, the products of which are available in oriental supermarkets around the world. Gouramis are particularly found in Sundanese cuisine.[3]

In Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, this gouramis are readily fished at streams, brooks, canal, rivers and many more large water area system.

In the aquarium

"
Female three spot gourami breathing air

Numerous gourami species are popular aquarium fish widely kept throughout the world. As labyrinth fish, they will often swim near the top of the tank. As with other tropical freshwater fish, an aquarium heater is often used. Gouramis will eat either prepared or live foods. Some species can grow quite large, and are unsuitable for the general hobbyist.

Compatibility

Generally regarded as peaceful, gouramis are still capable of harassing or killing smaller or long-finned fish. Depending on the species, adult and juvenile males have been known to spar with one another. Aggression can also occur as a result of overcrowding.

Gouramis have been housed with many species, such as danios, mollies, silver dollars, Neon tetras, and plecostomus catfish. Compatibility depends on the species of gourami and the fish it is housed with. Some species (e.g. Macropodus or Belontia) are highly aggressive or predatory and may harass or kill smaller or less aggressive fish; whereas others (Parosphromenus and Sphaerichthys, for instance) are very shy or have specific water requirements and thus will be outcompeted by typical community fish.

Gallery

See also

The name "gourami" is used of several other related fish that are now placed in different families:

References

  1. ^ J. S. Nelson; T. C. Grande; M. V. H. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). Wiley. p. 390. ISBN 978-1-118-34233-6.
  2. ^ Richard van der Laan; William N. Eschmeyer & Ronald Fricke (2014). "Family-group names of Recent fishes". Zootaxa. 3882 (2): 001–230.
  3. ^ "ikan gurame – Resep Kuliner Indonesia dan Dunia". kuliner.ilmci.com.
  • Goldstein, Howard (September 2005). "Searching for the Pygmy Gourami". Tropical Fish Hobbyist. 54 (1): 93. ISSN 0041-3259.
  • Tan, HH and P Ng (2006). "Six new species of fighting fish (Telestei: Osphronemidae: Betta) from Borneo". Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. 17 (2): 97–114.
"
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Gourami: Brief Summary

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Gouramis, or gouramies /ɡʊˈrɑːmi/, are a group of freshwater anabantiform fishes that comprise the family Osphronemidae. The fish are native to Asia—from Pakistan and India to the Malay Archipelago and northeasterly towards Korea. The name "gourami", of Malay-Archipelago origin, is also used for fish of the families Helostomatidae and Anabantidae.

Many gouramis have an elongated, feeler-like ray at the front of each of their pelvic fins. All living species show parental care: some are mouthbrooders, and others, like the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), build bubble nests. Currently, about 133 species are recognised, placed in four subfamilies and about 15 genera.

The name Polyacanthidae has also been used for this family. Some fish now classified as gouramis were previously placed in family Anabantidae. The subfamily Belontiinae was recently demoted from the family Belontiidae. As labyrinth fishes, gouramis have a lung-like labyrinth organ that allows them to gulp air and use atmospheric oxygen. This organ is a vital innovation for fish that often inhabit warm, shallow, oxygen-poor water.

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