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Snakehead: Emperor Snakehead

Emperor Snakehead, also known as Toman Bunga (Malaysia), Haruan Kerandang (Malaysia) or Jalai (Indonesia) are native to southern Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They are relatively rare in the wild and a favorite among freshwater anglers. They are also popular for aquarium fish and are sold expensively in the ornamental fish industry. They are recognized by having 3 to 8 dark, chevron-like markings along each flank. They have a number of variations in colour pattern depending on their age phase and environment. In general, juvenile are bluish-dark in colour, turning into brown with a white belly in young adult and finally yellowish when they mature. Mature fish will develop white edges on their scales that looks like flower petals. That is how they get their name, Toman Bunga which means flower snakehead in Malay. They may grow up to at least 60 cm in total length.

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Emperor Snakehead inhabits freshwater large river channels, inland lakes and forest swamp. They feed on small fishes, shrimp, amphibians and terrestrial insects.

Other names for the fish:

Ikan Jalai, Maru, Peyang, Piyang, Flower Snakehead, Beauty Snakehead, 似眼鱧