The Blue Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus) is a freshwater fish in the Osphronemidae family of labyrinthine fish. It is also known as the Dotted Threadfish, the Blue Threadfish, the Opaline Gourami, or the Three Spot Gourami.
The Blue Gourami is blue-grey to ochre-brown, yellow-orange, and violet. It has the appearance of mother-of-pearl, opal, or iridescence. At the base of the tail fin and in the centre of its body are dark-brown or black spots. Its eyes are reddish-black.
It grows to 10-15 centimetres (4-6 inches) long.
It has a wide distribution across the seas in southeast Asia, particularly in the waters off the coast of Indonesia, as well as Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.
It prefers shallow waters with reeds and aquatic plants. It prefers still or slow-moving water in marshes, streams, rivers, and canals. It can tolerate slightly brackish water.
The Blue Gourami is an omnivore, feeding on insects, insect larvae, water snails, shrimps, algae, and plants.
The Blue Gourami is often found in pairs. It builds a nest from plants, which it glues together with foam bubbles that it spits out. Its foam nest can be seen on the surface of the water.
The female lays 1,000-4,000 eggs. The male defends the eggs in the nest. The eggs hatch after 24 hours (one day). The young, called fry, can swim and leave the nest after 2-3 days.
It lives, on average, for 11 years.
[Location of photographs: Tbilisi Zoo, Georgia]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM