Species Information

Northern Snakehead (Channa argus) Northern Snakehead (Channa argus)
USFW - M. Goehle
Northern Snakehead (Channa argus)
USFW - M. Goehle
Northern snakehead
Channa argus

  Click here for information at USGS!

  Click here for a quick guide for this species. PDF format!

Similar Species
  • Bowfin Amia calva


• Torpedo-shaped body that tapers towards the tail
• Light brown with dark brown patches covering the body
• Large mouth with sharp teeth
• Anal fin extends from middle of body almost to the tail
• Can grow up to 4 ft (1.2 m) long and weigh up to 15 lb (6.8 kg)
• Capable of breathing out of water (in moist environments) for up to 7 days


• Swamps, shallow ponds, slow-moving streams
• Vegetated or muddy bottoms
• Fresh water with a temperature range of 0-30 degrees C

Known Distribution in the Northeast

• Massachusetts, New York
• Native to China and Korea


• As a voracious top-level predator with no natural enemies, could devastate the freshwater food web

Northern Snakehead
USFW- M. Goehle
Northern snakehead (Channa argus)

Protecting the marine and freshwater resources of the Northeast from invasive aquatic nuisance species