Anabas testudineus   (Bloch,  1792) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: CAFS

Size: 23-25 cm.

Max. weight: 13.2 g

Color: Dark to pale greenish, very pale below, back dusky to olive, head with longitudinal stripes ventrally, posterior margin of opercle with a dark spot, iris golden reddish.

Body form variable, affected by age and amount of food consumed. Scaled head with 4-5 rows between eye and rear margin of preoperculum. Scales large and regularly arranged, ciliate. Possesses an accessory air-breathing organ. Able to survive for several days or weeks out of water if the air breathing organs can be kept moist. This fish is famous for its ability to walk. Dorsal spines (total): 16-20, Dorsal soft rays (total): 7-10, Anal spines: 9-11, Anal soft rays: 8-11.
Head subcylindrical, body and tail more or less compressed. Dorsal profile arched, or only slightly convex. Ventral profile slightly convex. Height 2.3-3.2, 3-4.1 in length with caudal. Head 2.3-3.3, 3-4.2 in length with caudal. Eye 4-6, somewhat more than or equal to length of snout, 2.5-4 in postorbital part of head and 1.3-2.1 in convex interorbital space. Head scaly. Four to five rows of scales between eye and hindborder of praeoperculum. Operculum, suboperculum, interoperculum and praeorbital bordered by long radiating spines, less well defined, fewer in number in young and absent in very young specimens. Praeoperculum with some spines at its lower posterior border only. Posterior nostril close to frontborder of eye, larger than the anterior one, which is situated at some distance of the former and has a barbellike valve. Jaws equal, cleft of mouth oblique, reaching to below pupil. Rather narrow bands of small crowded teeth in jaws and one ^-shaped row of somewaht larger teeth on vomer. None on palatines. Dorsal and anal spines strong, flattened anteroposteriorly. The first dorsal one, which is separated by 15-19 scales from snout, is the shortest, the 3rd-5th or the 4th-6th spines are the longest, about of the same size and longer than or equal to snout and eye together. Soft portion of dorsal and anal higher than the spinous part, rounded in the dorsal, obtusely pointed in the anal. First anal spine below 8th or 9th dorsal spine. Origin of pectorals below origin of dorsal. Pectorals as long as distance between middle of eye and hindborder of operculum or somewhat less. Ventrals originating somewhat behind origin of pectorals, their spine strong, about equal to interorbital space, longest soft rays shorter than postorbital part of head. Caudal rounded. Scales ctenoid, covered with numerous small tubercles. Lateral line interrupted below last dorsal scales and continued, two scales lower down, to caudal.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Amphiprion testudineus Bloch and Schneider, 1801
Sparus testudineus Shaw, 1803
Anabas testudineus Cuvier, 1817
Cojus cobojius Hamilton Buchanan, 1822
Anabas scandens Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1831
Anabas scandens Cantor, 1850
Anabas scandens Bleeker, 1850
Anabas macrocephalus Bleeker, 1854
Anabas oligolepis Bleeker, 1855
Anabas scandens Bleeker, 1857
Anabas scandens Gunther, 1861
Anabas testudineus Peters, 1868
Anabas oligolepis Day, 1869
Anabas oligolepis Bleeker, 1877
Anabas scandens Day, 1888
Anabas scandens Vinciguerra, 1890
Anabas scandens Reuvens, 1895
Anabas scandens Steindachner, 1901
Anabas scandens Smith, 1902
Anabas scandens Jordan and Seale, 1907
Anabas scandens Tate Regan, 1909
Anabas scandens Sundara Raj, 1916
Anabas scandens van Oye, 1917
Amphiprion scansor Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Amphiprion testudineus (Bloch, 1792)
Anabas elongatus Reuvens, 1895
Anabas microcephalus Bleeker, 1857
Anabas scandens (Daldorff, 1797)
Anabas spinosus Gray, 1834
Anabas testudinens (Bloch, 1792)
Anabas testudineus lacustri Das, 1966
Anabas testudineus ricei Das, 1966
Anabas testudineus riveri Das, 1966
Anabas trifoliatus Kaup, 1860
Anabas variegatus Bleeker, 1851
Anthias testudineus Bloch, 1792
Antias testudineus (Bloch, 1792)
Lutjanus scandens (Daldorff, 1797)
Lutjanus testudo Lacepede, 1802
Perca scandens Daldorff, 1797
Sparus scandens (Daldorff, 1797)
Sparus testudineus (Bloch, 1792)

Common Name (s)
• Kawai
• Climbing Perch (English)
• Col Kow
• Ukabi (Manipuri)
• Kai (Assamese )
• Kawai (Assamese )
• Koi (Assamese )
• Kai (Bengali)
• Kawai (Bengali)
• Climbing perch (English)
• Antikallai (Malayalam)
• Kobai (Hindi)
• Khakoi (Khasi )
• Kallemutti (Malayalam)
• Karippidi (Malayalam)
• Undecollee (Malayalam)
• Karooppu (Malayalam)
• Okabi (Manipuri )
• Kou (Oriya )
• Panaiyeri kendai (Tamil )
• Paunieyri (Tamil)
• Sennal (Tamil)
• Kavaiyan (Tamil)
• Kobai
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium, aquaculture)
Cultured:  Yes

Habitat:  Demersal, Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Ostracods, shrimp/prawns, debris, bony fish, fish eggs/larvae, insects, molluscs, other benthic invertebrates, phytoplankton, planktonic crustaceans
IUCN Status:  Data Deficient


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Orissa, Mahanadi Estuary (Lat: 20.32) (Long: 86.75) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA (Record: 1948-1950)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• West Bengal, Bangaon, Ichhamati River INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Menon, AGK (1999) Checklist: Fresh water fishes of India Occasional paper no. 175 ZSI, Kolkata 366 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Singh, DF and Yazdani, GM (1993) Ichthyofauna of Konkan region of Maharashtra (India) Records of the Zoological Survey of India. Occasional paper no 145 ZSI, Calcutta 46 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Nandi, NC; Das, SR; Bhuinya, S and Dasgupta, JM (1993) Wetland faunal resources of West Bengal, I., north and south 24-Parganas districts Occasional paper no 150 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI 18264
  • Fauna of Tripura (part-1) vertebrates ZSI, Kolkata 365 pp
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds.) (1998) Fauna Of Mahanadi estuary, Orissa Estuarine ecosystem series no 3 ZSI, Kolkata 1-218 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1922) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Print times, Pataudi house, Daryaganj, New Delhi 4 410 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Sujansingani, KH (1954) Fish and fisheries of the Chilka Lake with statistics of fish catches for the years 1948-1950 Indian Journal of Fisheries Indian Journal of Fisheries for the Indian Council of Agricultural Research 1 (1-2) 256-344 Available at -
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Kosygin, L; Devi, LS; Dhamendra, H (2010) Fish and Fisheries of Iril river, Manipur, with a note on conservation strategies for threatened species Journal of Environment and Sociobiology Social Environmental and Biological Association, Kolkata, India 7(2) 85-92 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Das, SR and Nandi, NC (2004) Oxbow lake environment and management of Ichhamati river basin, West Bengal Journal of Environment and Sociobiology Social Environmental and Biological Association, Kolkata, India 1(1&2) 81-90 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Sarkar, UK; Kapoor, D; Paul, SK; Pathar, Ak; Basheer, VS; Deepak, PK; Srivastava, SM and Tyagi, LK (2007) Fish Biodiversity in the water bodies of samaspur bird sanctuary Uttar Pradesh: towards developing a freshwater aquatic sanctuary Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 104(1) 51-54 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2013-02-22

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