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Thread: How too : Sexing "Orange spotted snakehead" - Channa Aurantimaculata

  1. #1
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    How too : Sexing "Orange spotted snakehead" - Channa Aurantimaculata

    Hi everyone,

    I'm often asked on this forum and others how to tell the gender of this species so I decided to snap a few pic's and explain it here in detail so in the future I can just link people back to this post.

    There are several "tells" for aurantimaculata that can be used to help sex other species in the Aurantimaculata/Gachua/Stewertii complex as well. Color and pattern differences will vary based on locality/species but the differences in shapes described below will be similar across this complex.

    First a pair, Male Bottom, Female on top.

    Click here to enlarge

    Body shape and build :

    One trait that is difficult to show in the picture is over all size. Males tend to be shorter bodied with a slim build, while females tend to have longer and bulkier build. Although this alone is not an acurate way of sexing a snakehead because age,diet and care can all effect the growth and build of a fish. Depending on if they are in proper health, overweight or underweight etc. it'll obviously change how they look!

    Head Shape

    Although present , Head/skull shape this is another difference that's often difficult to spot. Much like body shape overweight/underweight can change or mask these differences.

    Males will have a larger head compared to the body with a more arrow shaped skull and a slightly steeper forehead. The base of the skull is wider then the body itself really emphasizing where the name "snakehead" comes from.

    Females will have a head that is more proportionate to the body with a with a more rounded shaped skull and a forehead that is less steep creating a slightly blunter nose. The base of the skull is roughly the same girth as the body itself.

    Shown here from the side you can see it is a very subtle difference:

    Male
    Click here to enlarge
    Female
    Click here to enlarge


    Seen from above the difference is more apparent :


    And from above:
    Male
    {PIC TO BE ADDED ASAP, sorry working on a getting clear one without getting bitten in the face !}
    Female
    {PIC TO BE ADDED ASAP, sorry working on a getting clear one without getting bitten in the face !}


    Dorsal Fin

    Dorsal fin shape is the one of the more reliable and easier ways of determining gender visually.

    Males will have a wider blue band along the top of its dorsal fin with reduced dark striping. They also have a more Arched shaped dorsal fin that tapers down toward the neck and is noticeably longer as you move toward the center of the body. The fin is wider/taller in ratio to the body and extends past the caudal peduncle to overlap the caudal fin.(fancy talk for the tail)

    Females have only very narrow blue trim on the top of the dorsal fin and heavier amount of dark striping.They have less of an arch in the fin keeping a consistent length from front to back. The fin is slightly shorter when compared to the width of the body and ends above caudal peduncle and does not overlap caudal fin.


    Front of Dorsal fin :

    Male
    Click here to enlarge
    Female
    Click here to enlarge


    Center of Dorsal Fin :

    Male
    Click here to enlarge
    Female
    Click here to enlarge


    Rear of dorsal fin :

    Male
    Click here to enlarge
    Female
    Click here to enlarge

    Full dorsal fin:

    Male
    Click here to enlarge
    Female
    Click here to enlarge
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

  2. #2
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    RJMark's Avatar
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    Perfect! I ordered the Wild caught Stewartii which comes in tomorrow so i'll use this. He also had two tiny (two inches!) blue bleheri's for sale which I picked up also arriving tomorrow. We really lucked out with out timing since we called to inquire about the Stewartii, Spencer said he had found two baby's bleheri's an few hours earlier hiding in a tank he thought was empty and he could do a deal if we got them with the stewartii. I'll post pictures tomorrow afternoon once they're in the tanks.

  3. #3
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    DevonC's Avatar
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    great find! I should have called spencer about that stewartii!

    Also "Blue Bleheri" is not a real bleheri. It's a common name given to an undefined species, "Channa Sp. Assam/lal cheng" , still quite attractive and they are the smallest of the dwarf's.
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

  4. #4
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    JayP's Avatar
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    I found out yesterday I have a female male for sure. My one which is male is very Dark and his colors are extremely bright where the 2 females have greyish bodies and some color, ill try to get pics

    220 Gal 1 Florida Gar 14", 2 Channa Diplogramma 15" 2 Black Driftwood Catfish 11"&12"
    200 Gal Black Arowana 12" P Bass 3.5" 1 Senegal 2 Endlicheri Birchirs

  5. #5
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    DevonC's Avatar
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    Ya. try to get close ups of the same area's i did , I'll be doing the same with my gachua when they mature and we can compare!
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

  6. #6
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    thatangryviking's Avatar
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    Man, that is one awesome looking fish.
    133 Gallon - Community Discus
    10 gallon - Crayfish
    18 Gallon - Red Cherry Shrimp/Green Shrimp Tank
    Betta Tanks ( 4 )


  7. #7
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    amodrag's Avatar
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    Like most species in the wild. The male is the more colourful and beautiful specimen do to the fact of having to compete for females.
    And its quite possible that this works also in the human race as well. Click here to enlarge

  8. #8
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    DevonC's Avatar
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    Bump for BaIllie , didn't wan't to type all that explanation out in e-mail plus pic's help lol

  9. #9
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    MarineLife's Avatar
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    I'm always amazed at how beautiful those fish are

  10. #10
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    Thanks , I have some babies from this pair for sale . Very easy to care for and very personable fish.

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