Category: Labyrinth

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The Anabantoidei are a suborder of anabantiform ray-finned freshwater fish distinguished by their possession of a lung-like labyrinth organ, which enables them to breathe air. The fish in the Anabantoidei suborder are known as anabantoids or labyrinth fish, or colloquially as gouramies. Some labyrinth fish are important food fish, and many others, such as the Siamese fighting fish and paradise fish, are popular as aquarium fish.

Labyrinth organ

The labyrinth organ, a defining characteristic of fish in the suborder Anabantoidei, is a much-folded suprabranchial accessory breathing organ. It is formed by vascularized expansion of the epibranchial bone of the first gill arch and used for respiration in air.

This organ allows labyrinth fish to take in oxygen directly from the air, instead of taking it from the water in which they reside through use of gills. The labyrinth organ helps the inhaled oxygen to be absorbed into the bloodstream. As a result, labyrinth fish can survive for a short period of time out of water, as they can inhale the air around them, provided they stay moist.

Labyrinth fish are not born with functional labyrinth organs. The development of the organ is gradual and most labyrinth fish breathe entirely with their gills and develop the labyrinth organs when they grow older.

Snakeskin gourami (Trichopodus pectoralis)

The snakeskin gourami (Trichopodus pectoralis) is a species of gourami native to Southeast Asia. Etymology The name Trichopodus comes from the Ancient Greek words θρίξ (thríx) which means hair and πούς (poús) which means foot while pectoralis comes from the Latin words pectus which means “chest” and ālis which...

Moonlight gourami (Trichopodus microlepis)

The moonlight gourami (Trichopodus microlepis), also known as the moonbeam gourami, is a labyrinth fish of the family Osphronemidaenative to Indochina. This peaceful, attractive species is a popular aquarium fish. Description An adult moonlight gourami reaches a length of to up 13 centimetres...

Pygmy gourami

See also: Croaking gourami (Trichopsis vittata), which is often confused with the pygmy gourami . The pygmy gourami (Trichopsis pumila), also known as the sparkling gourami, is a freshwater species of gourami native to Southeast Asia. Description Pygmy gouramis can reach a length of 4 centimetres...

Paradise gourami (Macropodus opercularis)

Paradise gourami (Macropodus opercularis) is a species of gourami found in most types of fresh water in East Asia, ranging from the Korean Peninsula to northern Vietnam. This species can reach a standard length of 6.7 cm (2.6 in), though most are only about 5.5 cm...

Dwarf gourami (Trichogaster lalius)

Distribution and habitat The dwarf gourami is native to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. However, it has also been widely distributed outside of its native range. It inhabits slow-moving waters in rivulets, streams and lakes, occurring in areas with...

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