Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Suborder: Anabantoidei, (accessory breathing organ known as the labyrinth organ).
Family: Osphronemidae (Gouramies)

Genus/Species: Macropodus opercularis

Paradisefish IMG_7999

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Common length : 5.5 cm (2 inches). Can reach 10 cm (4 inches). Conspicuous dark brown opercular spot with whitish posterior margin (margin red in life); body with 7-11 bold, dark bars on a light background. Caudal fin forked, both lobes elongate with filamentous extension in each lobe

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Native to East Asia from Korea to Northern Viet Nam. Introduced elsewhere. Air breather preferring, slow-moving or still habitats, ranging from irrigation ditches, rice paddies, streams and stagnant ponds to marshes and the backwaters of major rivers.

DIET IN THE WILD: Omnivore consuming planktonic invertebrates and smaller fish. 

REPRODUCTION: The males build bubble nests . After courtship, the male wraps himself around the female in a nuptial embrace during which he fertilizes eggs released by the female. He then gathers up the eggs in his mouth and blows them into the nest. . The male then tends the eggs until they hatch about 36 hours later.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; Least concern.  M. opercularis has a large distribution area and there are no known widespread threats to this species.

REMARKS: Used as predators of mosquito larvae and to control Dengue Fever.

These fish are thought to be one of the first fish introduced to Europe as an ornamental fish, in the mid 1800s.

Males must be kept separate from each other in tanks to prevent fighting,

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