Snakeheads - 15 of 18

Snakeheads FAQs - 18 Found

Where do snakeheads live?

Snakeheads are freshwater fishes with little, if any, tolerance for saltwater. Within their native and introduced ranges, they live in small and large streams, canals, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, and lakes. Many species can tolerate a wide range of pH, and one species living in Malaysia and parts of Indonesia prefers highly acid waters (pH 2.8-3.8). The northern snakehead and several other species prefer to live in somewhat dense aquatic vegetation where they feed and reproduce. Northern snakehead may tolerate a wide range of water temperatures and environmental conditions which contributes to their success as an invasive species.

Fishery scientists have found individuals of four species in waters of Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Reproducing populations have been documented in Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The blotched snakehead (Channa maculata) has thrived in Oahu, Hawaii, for more than a century; the bullseye snakehead (C. marulius) was discovered thriving in southern Florida in 2000. An isolated reproducing population of northern snakeheads was eradicated in Maryland in 2002. Captures of northern snakeheads of several different sizes in the Potomac River, Maryland and Virginia, the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, the White River drainage in Arkansas, and a small Hudson River tributary in New York indicates that this species is established in these areas.

Learn more: Northern Snakehead (Channa argus) - FactSheet

Animated map showing snakehead distribution in the US

Snakeheads (Pisces, Channidae): A biological synopsis and risk assessment

Tags: Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Native Species, Snakeheads, Ecology, Predator, Aquatic