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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Northern Snakehead
Aquatic Species
Species Profiles

Northern Snakehead

Northern SnakeheadScientific name: Channa argus (ITIS)

Common name: Northern Snakehead

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Selected Resources

Native To: Eastern Asia (NAS Database)

Date of U.S. Introduction: First established population discovered in Maryland in 2002 (NAS Database)

Means of Introduction: Released from fish markets (NAS Database)

Impact: Preys on and competes with native species (NAS Database)

Current U.S. Distribution:

Federally Regulated:



Selected Resources:

Council or Task Force

Species of Concern Fact Sheet: Northern Snakehead
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

Priority Species: Northern Snakehead
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.


New York Invasive Species Information - Northern Snakehead Fish
New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

NEANS Panel Online Guide - Northern Snakehead
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel.

Texas Invasives Database - Channa argus

Invasive Species Compendium - Channa argus argus
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Channa argus (fish)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Invaders Factsheet: Northern Snakehead
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

Federal Government

Recognizing Northern Snakehead (Sep 2003; PDF | 336 KB)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
See also: FWS Outreach and Education for more fact sheets

Snakeheads (Pisces, Channidae) - A Biological Synopsis and Risk Assessment (Mar 2004)
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1251; Researched and funded by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database: Fact Sheet - Northern Snakehead
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS): Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database - Channa argus
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

State Government

Aquatic Invasive Species: Snakehead Risk Analysis for Arizona (Oct/Nov 2012; PDF | 447 KB)
Arizona Game and Fish Department.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species for additional risk analyses and related species information

Aquatic Invasive Species: Snakehead (Mar 2005; PDF | 201 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Species for exotic animal and plant pests invading Indiana, causing economic and visual damage

Northern Snakehead
Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Fisheries Service.

Nuisance & Invasive Species - Northern Snakehead Fish (Channa argus)
New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Pennsylvania Fishes - Northern Snakehead
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The Snakehead Threat
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Northern Snakehead
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.


Introduced Species Summary Project - Northern Snakehead
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Factsheet: Northern Snakehead
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information

Northern Snakehead
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation.

Invasive Species Fact Sheets - Northern Snakehead
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Channa argus. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Fact Sheet - Northern Snakehead. USGS, Gainesville, FL. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

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Last Modified: Jun 28, 2018
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