Trichopodus pectoralis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Trichopodus pectoralis
Species Authority: Regan, 1910
Common Name(s):
English Snakeskin Gourami, Snake-skin Gourami
Osphronemus saigonensis Borodin, 1930 variety Borodin, 1930
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-02-22
Assessor(s): Vidthayanon, C.
Reviewer(s): Kottelat, M., Smith, K. & Allen, D.
Contributor(s): Drius, M.
The fish is widely distributed throughout its natural range, and it has been widely introduced. Populations have declined as a result of habitat loss and degradation (e.g., in Thailand), however it is considered Least Concern at present. The species is widely cultivated in Thailand and elsewhere, and this supplies the majority of the trade for consumption.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is widely distributed in southeast Asia, occurring in both the Mekong and Chao Phraya drainages, although its native distribution is not completely certain as it has been introduced widely. Paepke (2009) gives the native range as southern Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Thailand, and the Malay Peninsular, and it is also present in Myanmar. Introduced widely, e.g., the Philippines, southern China (Hong Kong), Sri Lanka and elsewhere.
Cambodia; Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia); Singapore; Thailand; Viet Nam
Hong Kong; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Philippines; Sri Lanka
Present - origin uncertain:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species' population is reduced or locally extirpated in severely polluted areas.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in marshlands, swamps and peatlands, and occasionally in running waters; it is well adaptive in impounded and man-made water bodies, but does not tolerate polluted waters.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is commonly consumed throughout its range, fished by small scales fisheries mixed with other lacustrine fishes. It is popular in pond aquaculture (farmers in central and southern Thailand, central Myanmar, using introduced stocks from Thailand). It is exported as dry preserved fish from Myanmar and Thailand to Malaysia and Indonesia.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Pollution in wetlands, infrastructure development and wetland clearance impact the species. In central Thailand, the Samutprakarn district of Bangkok was a major ranching area of this fish, but urbanisation and industrial estates have replaced it.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Research into habitat and population trends is required.

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Paepke, H.J. 2009. Again: About the Nomenclature of Trichopodus pectoralis REGAN, 1910; Trichopus cantoris SAUVAGE, 1884 and Osphronemus saigonensis BORODIN, 1930 – a necessary correction (Teleostei: Perciformes: Osphronemidae). Vertebrate Zoology 59(2): 143-145.

Citation: Vidthayanon, C. 2012. Trichopodus pectoralis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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