Channa marulioides

{pronunciation} ma-rule-ee-oy-dees

Common name:

Jaloi (Malay)

First description:

Bleeker, P. 1851
Ophiocephalus marulioides.
Vijfde bijdr. ichth. Borneo. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift Voor Nederlandsch Indie. Vol.II.; p.424


D: 45-47 A: 30-31 C: 14 V: present Ratio: 3.1-3.5




All finnage is brownish-blue, but the dorsal has no bands or markings. The caudal fin has a black, white-ringed ocellus at the upper part of its base. The dark brown body colouration sometimes exhibits, on the mid-lower section, six black bars slanting downwards towards the anal fin.

Juvenile differences in colouration:

At 10 cms, the fish is brown dorsally and is lighter towards the ventral region. A gold stripe runs from the top lip of the jaw through the eye and along the flanks, until it reaches the caudal fin, about a third of the way down. A wider band of black runs next to and underneath the gold stripe. These two colours fade out a short distance into the caudal fin.

Four or five faint, black blotches begin on the head and continue on the back above the gold stripe. Six black bars slant downwards towards the anal fin from the black band. The first bar ends just in front of the anal fin. Fins are transparent and the caudal fin spoon- shaped.

Transverse scales : 3.5-4 rows between lateral and start of the dorsal fin.


Attains a length of 270 mm

Sub-species and colour variants:

Three major differences separate C.marulioides and C.melanopterus from C.marulius
( Smith 1945) :-

1) The variablity of large dark blotches on the body.
2) The number of rows of scales between the eye and prepoercle.
3) Whether the teeth are large or small.

The following table compares details of the similar C.marulioides, C.marulius and C.melanopterus.

c.maruliodes c.marulius c.melanoptera
Blotches on the side no yes variable
Scales 5 10 5
Teeth small large small

In the light of the previous discussion; C.melanopterus would be junior synonym of C.marulioides and in turn it is tentatively suggested that C.marulioides is closely related to, although geographically separated from C.marulius.


Ophiocephalus marulioides.

Geographical location:

This fish is restricted to the area of the Malayan Peninsular and Indo-Australian Archipelago.
Specific locations can be found in the following :-

Malayan Peninsular : Herre & Myers (1937) ; Tweedie 1949.

Borneo: Bleeker (1879).