June 06, 2014

Frankenfish Facts

  • Channa striata, commonly known as striped snakehead, is one of the most widely cultured food fish in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand.

  • Kaesara Bakery in Singburi Province, Thailand uses snakehead to make various desserts, from snakehead cake, snakehead cookies to snakehead ice-cream.

  • To collect samples or tag and monitor fish in the water, biologists often use the “electrofishing” technique because it is often less harmful to the fish than other methods, such as gill netting.

  • Inspired by their ferocious behavior and survival stories, snakeheads are sometimes made the villain in horror films. In these roles, they are shown to terrorize neighborhoods and attack humans.

  • As an incentive for locals to help reduce the population, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Inland Fisheries once offered a $200 gift card to those who managed to catch and kill a snakehead.

  • Snakehead is one of the few species in the animal kingdom that is thought to practice monogamy for a whole breeding season. Some also speculate that they may stay monogamous for the rest of their lives.

  • A snakehead’s normal diet is fish, amphibians and crustaceans, but they sometimes have an appetite for birds and small mammals.

  • Some species of snakeheads, such as the northern snakehead, change color totally from golden brown to a dark brown with dark splotches as they get older.

  • In China some believe that snakeheads have medicinal benefits and that consuming them can quicken the healing of wounds and internal injuries, and some scientific research has supported this belief.

  • Freeing animals such as fish, turtles, and birds as a form of prayer is a belief among some people in Asian countries.

  • Channa maculata from Madagascar, also known as blotched snakehead, is reported to crawl on land, allow itself to be covered with ants, then move back to the water where the ants fall off and are eaten by the juvenile snakeheads.

  • In the Philippines, striped snakeheads have been playing an important role as biological control agent in fish culture. They are used to control the overproduction of tilapias in ponds.

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife and Conservation Commission had been promoting the consumption of invasive bullseye snakeheads as an attempt to control the population.

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