Ulrich Alsfasser on Channa diplogramma, a rare snakehead that's never been seen in the trade before.
Scientific name: Channa diplogramma
Origin: The Malabar coast of India.
Diet: Presumably a top predator that feeds on other fish.
Water: Like most snakeheads, these are not fussy about water chemistry.
Aquarium: This is a large, powerful and potentially dangerous species which should only be kept by highly experienced snakehead keepers. It needs a very spacious aquarium.
Sexing: In most snakehead species, males grow faster and larger than females before approaching adulthood.
Breeding: Breeding is near impossible in the aquarium with fish this large. However, there are tank bred Channa micropeltes available from time to time but it will tank a very large tank to accomplish a successful courtship and spawning.
Notes: When I first heard about this import I thought "This has got to be wrong!". After all, I had never heard of this species before. However, after contacting snakeheads.org I received confirmation that this is, in fact, a very rare but valid species, which hardly ever appears in the aquatic trade. The fish were originally called Ophiocephalus diplogramme and were once symonised with Channa micropeltes, which is almost indistinguishable. C. diplogramma is now a valid species, but there is very little information available about it.
Availability: These fish were imported by wholesaler Tom Halvorsen Ltd (07977 098 127) some months ago and are believed to be a first for the UK. We are told that these may be the first pictures of this species ever published. Since the original import, some other shops have obtained this species.
Price: These were on sale for 95ish.