Gouramies (Kissing Gourami)


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Kissing gourami is the sole member of the Helostomatidae family. It is distributed from Thailand to the Malay Archipelago. It is recognized by having a compressed and deep body, a dark bar across caudal peduncle, anal fin base bigger than the soft dorsal fin base, and 2 lateral lines. The lower lateral line starts below the end of the upper line.

Kissing gourami is found in freshwater streams, lakes, and ponds especially in slow-moving water with thick vegetation area. It is omnivorous feeding on benthic algae, zooplankton and aquatic insects near the water surface. It has the habit of sucking their thick lips and kissing other fishes.

There is only one genus with one species worldwide.


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Scientific Name: Helostoma temminckii  Cuvier, 1829
English Name: Kissing Gourami
Chinese Name | 鱼类中文名: 吻鲈 (Wěn lú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Samarinda, Biawan, Tambakan, Tebakang, Temakang, Tembakang
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Tambakan
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาหมอตาล (Plā mo tāl)
Main Identification Features: Body strongly compressed laterally. Operculum and suboperculum with smooth posterior edge. Mouth terminal with brown-coloured protrusible thick lips. Lateral line interrupted. Dorsal fin base long, longer than anal fin base. Pectoral fin large, rounded, and low-slung. Caudal fin indented.
Size: Maximum total length 30 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Inhabits moderately turbid water with heavily submerged vegetation including rivers, canals, swamps, lakes and ponds. An air-breathing species. Omnivorous, feeds on green algae, zooplankton and insects.





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