Climbing perch (Anabas testudineus)



  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciiformes
  • Family: Anabantidae
  • Genus: Anabas
  • Species: Anabas testudineus
Common names: Climbing Perch Latin name: Anabas testudineus Thai name: Pla Mor (ปลาหมอ) Thailand status: Native Max size: 0.5kg Diet: Algae, Crustaceans, Small fish Habitat: Freshwater, Brackish water

The Greek Anabasis and Latin Anabas means climbing or to climb. The climbing perch is true to its nature being able to use its spiny fins and gill plates to move quite quickly along the floor and even climb up out of ponds up the bank to reach a new habitat.

Able to breath out of water using its accessory air-breathing organ and as long as the fishes gills stay moist they can survive for days. During dry season the fish will bury themselves in the mud where they can survive until the rains return.

Very common fish in Thailand and can be found in almost every body of water, lake drainage ditch or paddy field. Popular as a food fish they are easy to catch on light float fishing tackle or traditional Thai style bamboo canes. Worms are always a safe bet but small freshwater shrimps bread or insects can work also.

Climbing perch bought from Thai market. These are very hardy fish and can survive in stagnant shallow water with low oxygen.

Handle with care! They are small but pack a punch. every fin and the gill plates are very spiny and sharp. Once caught the gills flare out, start flipping around with fins at the ready, can be like holding a spikey hot potato.