AskDefine | Define gourami

Extensive Definition

The gouramis or gouramies are a family, Osphronemidae, of freshwater perciform fishes. The fish are native to Asia, from Pakistan and India to the Malay Archipelago and north-easterly towards Korea.
Many gouramies have an elongated ray at the front of their pelvic fins. Many species show parental care: some are mouthbrooders, and others, like the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), build bubble nests. Currently, about 90 species are recognised, placed in 4 subfamilies and about 15 genera.
The name Polyacanthidae has also been used for this family. Some fish now classified as gouramies were previously placed in family Anabantidae. The subfamily Belontiinae was recently demoted from the family Belontiidae. As labyrinth fishes, gouramis have a lung-like labyrinth organ that allows them to gulp air and use atmospheric oxygen. This organ is a vital innovation for fishes that often inhabit warm, shallow, oxygen-poor water.

Species

There are about 96 species in 15 genera.

In the Aquarium

Gouramis, particularly blue, gold, opaline and dwarf, are often kept in the home aquarium. Though often considered peaceful, they can kill most other smaller or long finned fish. They shred other fishes' fins to the point that the victim can't swim and dies. The males of many members of this family like to spar, thus caution must be taken when keeping males together.

See also

The name "gourami" is used of several other related fish that are now placed in different families:

References

Gallery

gourami in German: Fadenfische
gourami in Spanish: Osphronemidae
gourami in Persian: گورامی
gourami in French: Gourami
gourami in Italian: Osphronemidae
gourami in Dutch: Echte goerami's
gourami in Japanese: グラミー
gourami in Norwegian: Guramier
gourami in Polish: Guramiowate
gourami in Portuguese: Osphronemidae
gourami in Russian: Осфронемовые
gourami in Thai: วงศ์ปลากัด ปลากระดี่
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