Any of several of the freshwater, tropical labyrinth fishes (order Perciformes), especially Osphronemus goramy, an East Indian fish caught or raised for food. A compact, oval fish with a long, filamentous ray extending from each pelvic fin, it weighs up to 20 lbs (9 kg). Adults are brown or gray with a paler belly. Other gouramis, several of them popular in home aquariums, are Asian members of different genera and families. Generally deep-bodied and small-mouthed, they include the giant gourami (Colisa fasciata), a blue-green and reddish brown fish 5 in. (12 cm) long; the dwarf gourami (C. lalia), 2.5 in. (6 cm) long, brightly striped in red and blue; and the kissing gourami (Helostoma temmincki), a greenish or pinkish white fish noted for its kissing activities.
Dwarf gourami (Colisa lalia).—Jane Burton/Bruce Coleman Ltd.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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