Climbing Perch

If you’re interested in freshwater fish species, you may have come across the Climbing Perch. This unique fish, scientifically known as Anabas testudineus, is found in South and Southeast Asia, including India. Despite its small size, the Climbing Perch possesses a remarkable ability to breathe air using a specialized organ, which allows it to survive in oxygen-poor environments and even move short distances over land. The fish is a predator that feeds on various aquatic animals, and is valued both as a food fish and for its sporting qualities among anglers. However, the species is facing various threats due to habitat loss and overfishing, highlighting the need for conservation efforts to protect this unique and important aquatic resource.

Serial No.CharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameClimbing perch
2Scientific nameAnabas testudineus
3ColourGreenish-brown to grey with a white or yellowish underbelly
4Average length in mCan grow up to 25 centimeters in length
5Average weight in kgsCan weigh up to 1 kilogram
6Found in river systems ofFound in freshwater rivers, lakes, and ponds throughout Asia, including the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and parts of China
7HabitatPrefers shallow, stagnant or slow-moving waters with muddy or sandy substrates and abundant vegetation
8Any special characteristicsHas the ability to breathe air through a specialized structure known as the labyrinth organ, which allows it to survive in low-oxygen environments and even move short distances on land. Can also climb and move between bodies of water using its sharp spines and strong pectoral fins.


Anabas testudineus, also known as the climbing perch or koi fish, is a freshwater fish found in Southeast Asia and India. The climbing perch is usually brownish or grayish with darker stripes or spots on its sides. Its belly is usually lighter in color.

The climbing perch can grow up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) in weight. The average length of the climbing perch is about 25-30 cm (10-12 inches), but it can reach up to 45 cm (18 inches) in length.

The climbing perch is not known for its speed, but it can move quickly over short distances by using its strong pectoral fins to “climb” over obstacles. The climbing perch has a labyrinth organ, which allows it to breathe air in low-oxygen environments. It is also known for its ability to survive out of water for short periods by burying itself in moist mud or traveling short distances over land.


The climbing perch is an adaptable fish and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, including brackish water and water with high levels of pollutants. It is often found in shallow waters, where it can use its strong pectoral fins to climb over obstacles and move from one body of water to another.

River System

Anabas testudineus, or the climbing perch, is found in several river systems in India. It is commonly found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems, which are two of the largest river systems in India.

The climbing perch is also found in other river systems in India, including the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery rivers, as well as their tributaries and associated wetlands.

Threatened Status

Anabas testudineus, or the climbing perch, is not currently listed as a threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, its populations in some regions have declined due to habitat loss, overfishing, and pollution.

In many parts of Southeast Asia, the climbing perch is a popular food fish, and its populations have been depleted due to overfishing. In addition, the destruction of wetland habitats and the construction of dams and other water infrastructure have also affected the climbing perch’s populations in some areas.

Pollution is another threat to the climbing perch, as it is known to accumulate heavy metals and other toxins in its tissues. In areas with high levels of pollution, the climbing perch may be unsafe to eat, which can also impact its population dynamics.

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