Luciocephalus pulcher (Gray, 1830)
Pikehead
Luciocephalus pulcher
photo by Hippocampus-Bildarchiv

Family:  Osphronemidae (Gouramies), subfamily: Luciocephalinae
Max. size:  20 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; freshwater; pH range: 6 - 7.5; dH range: 15
Distribution:  Asia: Peninsular Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia (Ref. 56386) and Singapore (Ref. 85309).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-12; Anal spines: 0-1; Anal soft rays: 19-21; Vertebrae: 38-40. Distinguished from Luciocephalus aura in the following characters: absence of numerous iridescent green spots on central stripe when live (vs. presence); presence of black irregular pattern on area below preorbital to central stripe (vs. absence); area just above anal-fin base with 3-4 dark brown blotches, which appear circular when body is viewed ventrally (vs. absence of such markings); yellowish caudal fin with 3-5 broad vertical black bars (vs. brownish caudal fin with 3-7 narrow iridescent vertical gold bars); presence of markings on anal and pelvic (vs. absence); shorter caudal-fin length (total length 120.0-125.6% SL vs. 123.7-127.1); shorter postdorsal length (10.4-12.4% SL vs. 12.0-13.2); greater head length (44.1-48.6% SL vs. 43.3-45.9); smaller caudal peduncle depth (8.9-10.6% SL vs 10.7-11.2); and relatively shorter anal-fin base length (19.3-23.4% SL vs. 23.6-24.5) (Ref. 56386).
Biology:  Occurs in streams and flooded forest among dense vegetation (Ref. 56749). Found in primary peats swamps. Mouth brooder (Ref. 57235). Highly protrusible jaws. The premaxillae can extend about 1/3 of the head length. Prey is captured by the fish making a rapid lunge and surrounding the prey with the open mouth.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 18 January 2019 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 28.06.91
Modified by: Torres, Armi G. - 06.02.08
Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 13.06.94

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