Channa siamensis

{pronunciation} scy-am-en-sis

First description:

Gunther, A. 1861
Ophiocephalus siamensis.
Catalogue of the Acanthoperygian Fishes in Collection of the British Museum., London Vol.3.; pp.476


This incomplete description was based on a single specimen in a collection by M.Mouhot. Subsequently, several authors cited Gunther's original description, until Smith (1945) revealed that either the explanation was that it really is a rare species or it was the failure of collectors to distinguish it from other similar Snakeheads.


D: 42 A: 27 C: 21 V: present Ratio: 3.4



In his study of the 'Freshwater Fishes of Siam, or Thailand', Hugh. M. Smith (1945), recruited the help of Dr.Ethelwynn Trewavas (Department of Fishes, British Museum.) to examine the peculiarities of the lateral line. Aside from differences between each side, it was found the lateral line became displaced between the 15th and 20th scale from the head.


All fins are clear with oblique blackish spots. The body colour is a greenish-olive. The upper and lower parts have a series of alternate darker blotches and the mid- section, a light longitudal band that runs from the eye to middle of caudal fin. There are also 'darker streaks along the series of scales' ( Smith 1945). The head has three oblique brown stripes on the side, while on the lower part it is blackish, with white spots.


185 mm


Ophiocephalus siamensis

Geographical location:

Siam (Thailand),
Gunther (1861); Smith (1945).

Kuronuma (1961) records this species from Vietnam, but this is highly unlikely.