Habitat

Most snakeheads prefer stagnant or slow-running waters, usually hiding under vegetation, rocks, and sunken trees. However, large species such as the northern snake-head, bullseye snakehead, and giant snakehead can usually be found inhabiting relatively deep waters with somewhat heavy vegetation in low, open country such as large rivers, swamps, ponds, and reservoirs. One species, the banka snakehead (Channa bankanensis), has been found only in peat swamps, which have dark brown, highly acid water. Most small species, such as the walking snakehead, usually live in mountain streams, but can also be found in lowland habitats. The northeastern Indian barca snakehead (Channa barca), a large species attaining 35.4 in (90 cm), is reported to live in holes within the banks of ponds and rivers. Many snakeheads are highly adaptable, being tolerant to a wide range of environments, including polluted waters.

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