Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Perciformes > Channidae > Channa > Channa argus

Channa argus (Spotted snakehead)

Synonyms: Channa argus argus; Channa argus warpachowskii; Ophicephalus argus; Ophicephalus argus warpachowskii; Ophicephalus pekinensis; Ophiocephalus argus; Ophiocephalus argus warpachowskii; Ophiocephalus pekinensis; Ophiocephalus warpachowskii

Wikipedia Abstract

The northern snakehead (Channa argus) is a species of snakehead fish native to China, Russia, North Korea, and South Korea, ranging from the Amur River to Hainan. It has been introduced to other regions where considered invasive. In Europe, the first report of the species was from Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) in 1956. In the United States, the fish is considered to be a highly invasive species. In a well-known incident, several were found in a pond in Crofton, Maryland, in June 2002, which led to major media coverage and two movies.
View Wikipedia Record: Channa argus

Invasive Species

The cold temperate northern snakehead (Channa argus) is found in areas in Russia, China and Korea. It is known for its voracious predation of other fish species, ability to withstand freezing and ability to tolerate lack of water for up to four days. Used as luxuary food item and as food in poor socio-economic areas, including India, the fish is farmed and transferred around the world. Recent occurance of this "frankenfish" in Maryland (USA) has been the focal point of media attention.
View ISSG Record: Channa argus


Female Maturity [1]  3 years
Adult Length [1]  39 inches (100 cm)
Litter Size [1]  40,786
Maximum Longevity [1]  10 years


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Chesapeake Bay United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Lower Mississippi United States Nearctic Temperate Floodplain River and Wetlands    
Northeast US & Southeast Canada Atlantic Drainages Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Amudarya Zapovednik State Nature Reserve Ia 152861 Lebap, Turkmenistan  
Shiga Highland Biosphere Reserve 32124 Honshu, Japan  

Prey / Diet

Capoetobrama kuschakewitschi (Sharpray barb)[2]
Carassius auratus (Goldfish)[2]
Channa argus (Spotted snakehead)[2]
Cobitis taenia (Spine loach)[2]
Misgurnus fossilis (Weatherfish)[2]
Perccottus glenii (Amur sleeper)[2]
Pseudorasbora parva (Topmouth minnow)[2]
Rhinogobius similis (Amur goby)[2]
Rutilus rutilus (Roach)[2]
Sander lucioperca (Pike-perch)[2]
Silurus asotus (Far Eastern catfish)[2]
Tachysurus fulvidraco (Banded catfish)[2]


Channa argus (Spotted snakehead)[2]


Parasitized by 
Aspidogaster limacoides[3]
Asymphylodora japonica <Unverified Name>[3]
Azygia anguillae[3]
Azygia hwangtsiyui[3]
Camallanus cotti <Unverified Name>[3]
Carassotrema koreanum[3]
Diplostomum hupehensis <Unverified Name>[3]
Diplostomum niedashui <Unverified Name>[3]
Eudiplozoon nipponicum <Unverified Name>[3]
Gnathostoma hispidum <Unverified Name>[3]
Gnathostoma spinigerum <Unverified Name>[3]
Gyrodactylus ophiocephali <Unverified Name>[3]
Isoparorchis hypselobagri <Unverified Name>[3]
Pallisentis celatus[3]
Pallisentis chongqingensis[3]
Pallisentis umbellatus[3]
Paraproteocephalus parasiluri <Unverified Name>[3]
Philometra fujimotoi <Unverified Name>[3]
Pingus sinensis <Unverified Name>[3]
Pingus sinensis <Unverified Name>[3]
Senga ophiocephalina[3]
Spirocamallanus fulvidraconis[3]
Spiroxys japonica <Unverified Name>[3]


Am-nok; America, North - Inland waters; Amur; Asia - Inland waters; Asia: China and western and southern Korea. Japan (Ref. 6094) and the USA (Ref. 51238) report adverse ecological impact after introduction.; China; Europe - Inland waters; Japan; Korea, Republic of; Kum; Lake Biwa; Nearctic; Palearctic; Russian Federation; USA (contiguous states); Volga; Yangtze;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Frimpong, E.A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: a database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries 34:487-495.
2Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
3Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access