Gourami, Kissing (Helstoma temminkii)
The Kissing Gourami in Thailand is member of the Helostomatidae family of fishes is in the Perciformes class of fish and widely distributed throughout Southeast Asia occurring in lakes and rivers. The Kissing Gourami or ‘Kissing Fish’ is an easily identifiable and highly distinctive freshwater fish due to its protruding ‘pouting’ lips coupled with its clearly distinguishable opaque flared dorsal and anal spines. The Kissing Gourami has low slung rounded pectoral fins , the Kissing Gourami displays a distinctive green to pale pinkish colouration throughout its small scale covered body and is a popular ornamental species in Thailand.
The Kissing Gourami prefers slow moving waters with thick vegetation and is also an extremely popular aquarium fish with freshwater enthusiasts.
This species feeds on benthic algae and zooplankton in addition to aquatic insects in the upper layers close to the surface and is also a filter feeder which rasps algae from underwater stones and pebbles.
Kissing Gourami spawn between May to October with this species being an open water egg scatterer which lays eggs under floating rafts of weed. The smooth and buoyant eggs hatch within one day and are abandoned immediately after spawning by the adult fish.
Various strains of Gourami exist which have are the result of intensive breeding by aquarium’s and ornamental fish farms.
The Kissing Gourami is a rarely seen freshwater fish species by recreational anglers in Thailand and is present in few fishing lakes and ponds.
The Kissing Gourami can be caught whilst fishing in Thailand using delicate float fishing techniques with small cereal and paste hookbaits.