The snakeskin gourami or Siamese gourami is a species of gourami that is important both as a food fish and as an aquarium fish.
Compared to other gourami species, the snakeskin gourami is less frequently sold as aquarium fish but is more commonly used as food fish in their native lands. The snakeskin gourami is a highly economic species that is captured and cultured for food and for export for the aquarium trade. It is one of the five most important aquacultured freshwater species in Thailand. It The flesh is of good quality, and may be grilled or used for fish soup. In Thailand, there is a trade of dried snakeskin gourami for the benefit of people in areas where the live fish is not available.
The snakeskin gourami is an elongated, moderately compressed fish with a small dorsal fin. Its anal fin is nearly the length of the body and the pelvic fins are long and thread-like. The back is olive in color and the flanks are greenish gray with a silver iridescence. An obvious, irregular black band extends from the snout, through the eye, and to the caudal peduncle. The underparts are white. The rear part of the body may be marked with faint transverse stripes. The fins are also gray-green, and the iris of the eye may be amber under favorable water conditions. The dorsal fins of male fish are pointed and the pelvic fins are orange to red. The males are also slimmer than the less colorful females. Juvenile snakeskin gouramis have strikingly strong zig-zag lines from the eye to the base of the tail.
Siamese gourami can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) in length. However, they do not usually reach more than 6 in 15 cm in captivity.