Snakeheads became the focus of a lot of media attention when living and breeding specimens were found wild in U.S. waters. The natural habitats for Snakeheads are located in Africa and South East Asia. Snakeheads are highly capable predators and will consume prey as large as half their own size. Snakeheads could therefore possibly disrupt the U.S. fauna a great deal and cause irreparable changes, since Snakeheads are not a natural part of the U.S. ecosystems. To avoid this from happening, importing Snakeheads to the U.S. is illegal since 2003. They can however still be found at some Asian food markets in the U.S. The Snakehead is considered a delicates in Asia as well as in Africa.
All Snakehead species are equipped with a labyrinth organ that makes it possible for them to breed oxygen directly from the air. It is an adaptation to a life in low oxygen waters, and is also very useful when a puddle or small lake is dried out and the Snakehead needs to walk on land to find a new home. The Snakeheads must be allowed to reach the surface to breed, and if they are kept in an aquarium that prevents them from doing this they will drown. The largest Snakehead species can reach a length of almost one metre (approximately one yard).
A lot of aquarists are displeased with the U.S. ban on Snakehead import, since the Snakeheads are popular aquarium fish in the U.S. The Snakeheads are native to warm areas of the world, and will therefore require warm temperatures to survive. This makes it impossible for Snakeheads to stay alive in the wild in large areas of the U.S., since the climate is much too cold for them. They would therefore never be able to multiply in these areas even if they were released into the wild by irresponsible aquarists.