The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Osphronemus goramy
Osphronemus goramy
(giant gourami)

Copyright Info
Osphronemus goramy Lacep├Ęde, 1801

Common name: giant gourami

Synonyms and Other Names: giant gouramy.

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: See Roberts (1992) for recent revision of genus, redescription of Osphronemus goramy, and color photographs. Additional color photographs appeared in Axelrod et al. (1985) and Kottelat et al. (1993). Similar species include the recently described O. septemfasciatus and O. laticlavius (Roberts 1992).

Size: 80 cm SL maximum, but averages 40 cm SL.

Native Range: Tropical Asia. Natural range probably limited to Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Indochina (Mekong Basin) (Roberts 1992; also see Berra 1981).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Osphronemus goramy are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA197519751Salton Sea
FL199919991South Atlantic-Gulf Region
NV200420041Lake Mead
WA199219921Pacific Northwest Region

Table last updated 7/14/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: According to Brock (1960), the giant gourami introduced to Hawaii came from the Philippines. The reason for the introduction was not given, although it was presumably stocked as a food fish. The other introductions were possible aquarium releases as this species soon outgrows containers.

Status: Reported from California, Florida, Hawaii, and Washington. Although a few of the fish introduced to Hawaii survived for an extended period, they did not reproduce (Brock 1960).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: This is a famous food fish in Southeast Asia and important in freshwater aquaculture in tropical Asia (Roberts 1989, 1992). It has been introduced widely into the Old and New World Tropics, including islands that otherwise have no primary freshwater fish; the introduced stock, in most cases, is probably from Java (Roberts 1992). Brock (1960) stated that there may have been introductions into Hawaii prior to 1950 which, similar to the one reported, were unsuccessful. During the late 1800s there were plans to introduce this species into California waters, apparently because of it potential as a food fish, but live specimens were never obtained (Dill and Cordone 1997).

Voucher specimens: LACM 35496.001.

References: (click for full references)

Axelrod, H.R., W.E. Burgess, N. Pronek, and J.G. Walls. 1985. Dr. Axelrod's atlas of freshwater aquarium fishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

Berra, T.M. 1981. An atlas of distribution of the freshwater fish families of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE.

Brock, V.E. 1960. The introduction of aquatic animals into Hawaiian waters. International Revue der Gesamten Hydrobiologie 45(4):463-480.

Dill, W.A., and A.J. Cordone. 1997. History and status of introduced fishes in California, 1871-1996. California Department of Fish and Game Fish Bulletin, volume 178.

Devick, W.S. 1991a. Disturbances and fluctuations in the Wahiawa Reservoir ecosystem. Project F-14-R-15, Job 4, Study I. Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. 21 pp.

Devick, W.S. 1991b. Patterns of introductions of aquatic organisms to Hawaiian freshwater habitats. Pages 189-213 in new directions in research, management and conservation of Hawaiian freshwater stream ecosystems. Proceedings of the 1990 symposium on freshwater stream biology and fisheries management, Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Fletcher, D. - Warmwater Fisheries Resource Manager, Washington Department of Wildlife, Olympia, WA. Response to NBS-G nonindigenous questionaire and other reports. 1992.

Kottelat, M., A.J. Whitten, S.N. Kartikasari, and S. Wirjoatmodjo. 1993. Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions, Ltd., Republic of Indonesia.

Maciolek, J.A. 1984. Exotic fishes in Hawaii and other islands of Oceania. 131-161 in W. R. Courtenay, Jr., and J. R. Stauffer, Jr., eds. Distribution, biology, and management of exotic fishes. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

Roberts, T.R. 1989. The freshwater fishes of Western Borneo (Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia). Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 14:1-210.

Roberts, T.R. 1992. Systematic revision of the southeast Asian anabantoid fish genus Osphronemus, with descriptions of two new species. Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwaters 2(4):351-360.

FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 6/29/2023

Peer Review Date: 5/1/2013

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Osphronemus goramy Lacep├Ęde, 1801: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=798, Revision Date: 6/29/2023, Peer Review Date: 5/1/2013, Access Date: 7/15/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/15/2024].

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For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.