Northern Snakehead – Channa argus (Cantor, 1842)

Juvenile northern snakehead, about 4 cm long, captured from pond in Crofton, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, July 9, 2002. Photo by Algerina Perna; reproduced without permission of the Baltimore Sun. One of the great experiences for me was visiting an aquaculture establishment just outside the sprawling city of Guangzhou. The farm was new then, and was developing stocks of turtles and snakeheads, and possibly other species for supply to the numerous restuarants in the city.

I was later able to try a meal of snakehead (although I am unsure it is the above species) and I found them to be good eating – personally I’d rather eat them than carp. Culture of snakehead seemed to be remarkably straightforward and I thought at the time that they seemed very robust. This report from the U.S. Geological Survey clearly outlines just how robust the species is – and why introducing them into other environments would be dangerous to native and farmed species alike. There are further reports about other species of snakeheads and the risks they pose to native ecosystems.

Officials eye Flushing’s snakeheads for a story in the New York NewsDay.


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