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Anabas testudineus

Anabas testudineus, the climbing perch, is a species of fish in the family Anabantidae, the climbing gouramis. It is native to Asia, where it occurs from India east to China and to the Wallace Line. It is an invasive species that can live without water for 6 days. It is believed that the fish may be invading new territories by slipping aboard fishing boats.It has also been established in some countries outside of its native range, in eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It is believed to be advancing towards Australia. In late 2005, the fish was discovered on Saibai Island and another small Australian island in the Torres Strait north of Queensland, about three to four miles south of Papua New Guinea.[1]

Climbing perch
Anabas testudineus.png
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anabantiformes
Family: Anabantidae
Genus: Anabas
A. testudineus
Binomial name
Anabas testudineus
(Bloch, 1792)
  • Anabas elongatus Reuvens, 1895
  • Anabas macrocephalus Bleeker, 1854
  • Anabas microcephalus Bleeker, 1857
  • Anabas scandens (Daldorff, 1797)
  • Anabas spinosus Gray, 1834
  • Anabas trifoliatus Kaup, 1860
  • Anabas variegatus Bleeker, 1851

This species grows to 25 cm (9.8 in) in total length.

It is likely that this is a species complex, with the name Anabas testudineus applied to what are actually several different species. With further study, populations of this fish may be divided up into separate species and given new names.[2]


As foodEdit

This species is important as a food fish in certain areas of South Asia and in Southeast Asia, where its ability to survive out of the water for extended periods of time, provided it is kept moist, improves its marketability.[3]

Pla mo at a riverside market in Ratchaburi Province, Thailand
Anabas testudineus curry preparation

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jonathan Pearlman, Aggressive 'walking' fish is heading south towards Australia, scientists warn, The Telegraph, Tuesday 02 June 2015 from, accessed June 2, 2015.
  2. ^ Pal, M. & Chaudhry, S. 2010. Anabas testudineus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. Downloaded on 22 September 2014.
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Anabas testudineus" in FishBase. December 2012 version.

External linksEdit