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Labyrinth Fishes: Anabantoidei

Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Climbing Perch (anabas Testudineus): Species Accounts, Siamese Fighting Fish (betta Splendens): Species AccountsPHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET,

CLIMBING PERCH (Anabas testudineus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
SIAMESE FIGHTING FISH (Betta splendens): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Labyrinth fishes are about 1 to 24 inches (2.5 to 60 centimeters) long and have a special air-breathing organ called the labyrinth (LAB-uh-rinth). Most species have a space in their head bones that sharpens their hearing. The swim bladder, an internal sac that fishes use to control their position in the water, branches into two long pouches. Many species are beautifully colored.

Labyrinth fishes live in Africa and Asia. Several species have been released accidentally to areas outside their natural range.

Many labyrinth fishes live in still bodies of water with thick plant life, but some live in cool, fast mountain streams. Most labyrinth fishes can live in water with a low oxygen level.

Most labyrinth fishes eat small invertebrates (in-VER-teh-brehts), or animals without backbones, and algae. Algae (AL-jee) are plantlike growths that live in water and have no true roots, stems, or leaves. Some species eat small fishes.

The larger species of labyrinth fishes are farmed for food. The smaller, colorful labyrinth fishes are used in aquariums.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded Vertebrates