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Channa is a genus of predatory fish in the family Channidae, commonly known as snakehead, native to freshwater habitats in Asia. This genus contains more than 45 scientifically described species. The genus has a wide natural distribution extending from Iraq in the west, to Indonesia and China in the east, and parts of Siberia in the Far East. A particularly high richness exists in Myanmar (Burma) and northeastern India, and many Channa species live nowhere else. In contrast, a few widespread species have been introduced to several regions outside their natural range where they often become invasive. The large and medium-sized Channa species are among the most common staple food fish in several Asian countries and they are extensively cultured.Apart from their importance as a food fish, snakeheads are consumed in some regions as a traditional medicine for wound healing and reducing post-operative pain and discomfort, and collected for the international aquarium pet trade.
All snakeheads are highly predatory and the diets of the various species of Channa include fish, amphibians (like frogs), snakes, rodents, birds and invertebrates (like insects and crustaceans). They have a labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe air for short periods, and they use this adaptation to travel across land in the event that their habitat becomes inhospitable. They are mostly solitary or live in monogamous pairs that are highly aggressive towards outsiders of their own species, but C. pleurophthalma often occurs in small groups. Larger species are mostly nestbrooding (making a nest of vegetation at the water surface), and the dwarfs mostly paternal mouthbrooding, but there are exceptions: the large C. barca is a paternal mouthbrooder and the dwarf C. bleheri is a free-spawner (the eggs float to the surface where the parents take care of them, but they do not mouthbrood or built a nest).
In Assamese it is called goroi. In Malayalam it is called varal or braal. In Bhojpuri it's called "Garai". In Magahi language it is called “Garai”. Since the fish can survive in marshy land, which is not a habitat for normal fishes, there are Magahi phrase like ‘Gadal Garai’. This is used to describe a person who looks simple but is shrewd.