Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sandelia The Anabantidae are a family of perciform fish commonly called the Labyrinth fish but also known as the Climbing Gouramies or Climbing Perches. Their distinguishing feature is a labyrinth organ, a structure in the fish's head which allows them to "breathe" atmospheric oxygen. Fish of this family are commonly seen gulping at air at the surface of the water; which then passes out of their gills or mouth when they dive beneath the surface.
The Climbing Gouramies originate from Africa to India and the Philippines. They are primarily a freshwater and only very rarely found in brackish water. An egg-layer, they typically guard their eggs and young.
There are about 39 species in the family, classified in 4 genera (3 according to some authors). The familiar aquarium resident, the Siamese Fighting Fish Betta splendens used to be classified in this family, but is now placed among the gouramies, family Osphronemidae. The genus Sandelia specifically has scales only in the cycloid form., few gill rakers, and generally a carnivorous diet.
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