The snakehead family includes about 50 species. They are found in Asia and Africa. The orange-spotted snakehead is found only in a small region of India, in eastern Assam. There it is common only in the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries.
A so-called labyrinth organ in the gill chamber, which consists of a richly folded tissue with a good blood supply, enables snakeheads to breathe air. This enables them to survive on land for up to 4 days, as long as they are kept moist at the same time. They can also travel distances of up to 400 meters on land. To move around, they perform writhing movements with their bodies.
|Taxonomy||Acanthopterygii, Percomorpha, Labyrinth fish, snakeheads (ca. 50 species)|
|Habitat||Forest streams, ponds, and swamps near the Brahmaputra River under subtropical rainforest conditions|
|Social structure||As monogamous pairs or solitary|
|Diet||Fish and crustaceans, juvenile specimens prey on insect larvae, worms and tadpoles|
|Body length||up to 45 cm|
|Weight||up to 450 g|
|Incubation period||4 days|
|Life expectancy||20 years|
|At Zoo Zurich since||2023|