Morpho-meristic analysis of the great snakehead (Channa marulius) collected from the Lowland ecosystem in Bangladesh and its future implications


1 Department of Genetics and Fish Breeding, Faculty of Fisheries, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU), Gazipur, Bangladesh

2 Department of Fisheries Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Fisheries, Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), Mymensingh, Bangladesh

3 Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Fisheries, Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Science & Technology University, Melandah, Jamalpur-2012, Bangladesh

4 Department of Fisheries Biology and Aquatic Environment, Faculty of Fisheries, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU), Gazipur, Bangladesh



The genus Channa has many species including several cryptic species like the great snakehead (Channa marulius), locally known as “Gajar”, distributed across its natural distribution range of Southern and Southeast Asian countries including Bangladesh. This fish needs to be conserved but there is no information regarding the morphological variations in Bangladesh. This study reveals the morphometric traits and meristic counts of C. marulius collected from the lowland ecosystem in Bangladesh. A total of 67 samples were collected from 7 locations in Bangladesh to record morphological observations. This investigation was done on 6 meristic traits and 17 morphometric features. The fin formulae of C. marulius were dorsal 55-45, pectoral 19-14, pelvic 2-6, anal 37-28, and caudal C. 17-12. The lateral line is present which continued with 68-61 scales in a single line. All relationships (coefficient of determination, r2) of the morphological measurements were found significant statistically (p≤ 0.05) by analysis of variance. The r2 value shows the length-length relationships by total length (TL) vs. standard length (SL) (TL=a+b×SL) as the best-fitted model among seventeen equations. The fifteen morphometric measurements were used for the classification of populations by discriminant function analysis and could separate the populations at p<0.001 at a highly significant level.  The principal component analysis showed that SL, TL, and LDFB (length of dorsal fin base) of the morphometric measurements were important for the phenotypic variation in C. marulius fish populations. Thus, three key characteristics can be used to know the populational variations of C. marulius in Bangladesh and these findings can be useful for making any comparisons with its related species.