Channa fish is one of two main species of large fresh water fish, the other being the large silver fish Amathascharis channa. Channa is also a genus of large predatory freshwater fish in the genus Channidae, more commonly referred to as snakehead, originally only found in saltwater. In recent times, this genus has been spread to fresh water as well, with many new species being described and named. It is so far the most common of all freshwater fish with more than 20 known species in this genus.
There are two basic types of snakehead fish: the common flathead and the red arowana fish. They differ in appearance and behavior mainly because of their respective colors. The flathead is larger than the red arowana. Some snakeheads are large enough to be seen from a few feet away and they can reach lengths of over 15 inches. Flathead and red arowana fish are similar in diet, feeding on crustaceans, mollusks and other scavenging insects.
Like most other flatheads and arowanas, the common red-headed snakehead fish is found in fresh water in its natural environment. However, due to some kind of selection process, these fish have managed to adapt to life in a habitat closer to their habitat in saltwater. This adaptation has allowed them to have smaller scales and darker colored bodies, which make them seem like bichirs.
The other main genus in this group, the Anas, has evolved in a completely different way. They are the only known members of their genus with both eyespots fully developed, giving them the appearance of floating eyes. There are other similar anas species, but these have either lost their eyes or have very small eyes.
Unlike the flatheads and arowanas, Channa snakeheads are not carnivorous. They actually prefer soft-shelled prey such as sand dollars, hermit crabs, and millipedes. They can also eat small crustaceans, snails and fish. This kind of diet allows them to grow to an impressive size, reaching around 25 inches in length. The flathead and red arowanas are much smaller than this.
Many people are surprised to know that there are several types of snakehead fish. Although it is considered a rare species, there are believed to be around two hundred types. These include the blue snakehead fish, which are native to the Kalahari desert; the black snakehead fish, which are found only in a few locations in South Africa; and the green snakehead fish, which are quite common and occur in a few lakes throughout south-west Australia. It is believed that these fish have evolved due to convergent evolution, whereby similar looking fish have come from a common ancestor. Although there are very few aquarium fish of this kind, this is an excellent choice if you wish to buy a beautiful fish with an unusual appearance.