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Channa gachua is a species of snakehead. It is one of the smallest species of snakehead and has a length of 20 cm. It gave its name to the aquarist’s term dwarf snakeheads to denote the smaller Channa species
Channa gachua is often confused with Channa orientalis an endemic species from Sri Lanka. In Indian ichthyology, Channa gachua is considered to be a junior synomym of Channa orientalis, because it was described by Markus Elieser Bloch 20 years before Hamilton described Channa gachua. The major morphological difference between the two species is that Channa gachua has ventral fins and Channa orientalis does not. Besides that there are many differences in their breeding behavior, like the number of offspring and others.
Channa gachua can also hardly be distinguished from another closely related Channa species called Channa harcourtbutleri inhabiting Lake Inlé in Myanmar.