Common names from other countries
Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Anabantiformes
(Gouramies, snakeheads) > Osphronemidae
(Gouramies) > Macropodusinae
Etymology: Macropodus: Greek, makros = great + Greek, pous, podos = foot (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; pelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5 - 19. Tropical; 16°C - 26°C (Ref. 1672); 30°N - 20°N, 102°E - 122°E
Asia: China, from Yangtze basin to the south, on Hainan Island, in Taiwan, north Viet Nam; introduced to the tropical and subtropical world (Ref. 42924). Very popular with aquarists and has been widely transported around the world.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 6.7 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 43281); common length : 5.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193)
(total): 11 - 17;
soft rays: 9 - 15;
Vertebrae: 27 - 29. Caudal fin forked, both lobes elongate in males (Ref. 559), with filamentous extension in each lobe (Ref. 43281); lower margin of preorbital sharply serrated (Ref. 559); conspicuous dark brown opercular spot with whitish posterior margin (margin red in life); body with 7-11 bold, dark bars on pale yellowish background in preserved specimens (blue bars on reddish background in life); dark stripe crossing eye connecting opercular spot with eye; top of head and predorsal body with dark spots; posterior tip or margin of scales on body not darker than scales (Ref. 42924).
Adults inhabit any kind of lowland habitats from heterogeneous structured margins or backwaters of large rivers to small streams and irrigation channels on farmland (Ref. 42924). Can colonize stagnant water bodies with very low oxygen content (air breather). Found in streams, paddy fields and ditches (Ref. 5258). Feed on small aquatic animals including small fish. First ornamental fish to be brought to Europe (France 1869, Germany 1876) after the goldfish (Ref. 13371). Males will fight each other (Ref. 1672). Aquarium keeping: minimum aquarium size 80 cm (Ref. 51539).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
The species is a bubble-nest builder; the male swims to the surface, draws a little air into his mouth and envelops it in a film of saliva thereby forming bubbles; upon building the nest, the male drives the female towards it; female spawns then male follows; male picks up the fertilized eggs in his mouth and pushes one by one into each bubble of the nest; male guards eggs until hatching (Ref. 5258). Produces up to 500 eggs (Ref. 1672).
Freyhof, J. and F. Herder, 2002. Review of the paradise fishes of the genus Macropodus in Vietnam, with description of two species from Vietnam and southern China (Perciformes: Osphronemidae). Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwat. 13(2):147-167. (Ref. 42924)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5020 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01738 (0.00668 - 0.04524), b=3.01 (2.78 - 3.24), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.55 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm<1; Fec=100-500 times 6-12 spawning events).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .