Channidae is a family of fishes of the order Perciformes. Includes 1 genus, more than 10 species. Elongated body. Dorsal and anal fins are long. The head is flattened and covered with scales. Widespread in the waters of tropical Africa, India, Indochina, Indonesia, China, peninsula Korea. It is supposed that in Russia in the Amur River and Ussuri River inhabits subspecies - Channa argus warpachowsky. Freshwater fishes inhabiting overgrown water bodies. Predators. Spawn in summer. Clutch is guarded by a male. Channidae - objects of fishery and breeding in ponds. The extinct genus Eochanna, including only one species, Eochanna chorlakkiensis, is described from Pakistan. The fish are of medium to large size. Adults of Channa panaw reach no more than 17.1 cm in length, while Channa marulius can be up to 183 cm long and weigh up to 30 kilograms.
Snakeheads are adapted not only to aquatic respiration by means of gills, but also to breathe atmospheric air due to their special suprazhabernomu organ. It is formed in Asian snakeheads lamellar outgrowths of the first gill arch and pendant, the mucous membrane of which is permeated with blood vessels gill arteries. The organ is located in a special supra-gill cavity. In African snakeheads suprazhaberny organ is much weaker developed, outgrowths on the gill arch and pendant are absent. Swallowing air these fish are so necessary that in case of obstruction of their access to air, they die even in fresh water.
Snakeheads are able to move overland from one body of water to another.
Feed snakeheads in the young age of small invertebrates, and as adults - almost exclusively fish and frogs; they are voracious predators.
The largest representative of snakeheads - snakehead marulia (Ch. marulia), reaching a length of 122 cm (usually 46 cm) - is widely distributed from India to southern China. In India, it lives in rivers, preferring clear clean water. The meat of this fish is prized, and the marulia snakehead is bred in South India in irrigation wells, feeding on frogs and other food.