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Aenigmachanna gollum

15th December, 2023 Environment

Aenigmachanna gollum

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  • Aenigmachanna gollum, the Gollum snakehead, is a species of aquifer-dwelling dragon snakehead fish that is endemic to the Indian state of Kerala.


  • Aenigmachanna gollum (Gollum snakehead) has an elongated, eel-like body colored mostly brown and beige.
  • Its fins are long and transparent, with the dorsal fin stretching for about three-quarters of its body length, and the anal fin stretching for more than half its body length. Its pectoral fin is large, while the pelvic fin is absent.
  • Its tailfin is ovoid. Several large scales cover the top of the head. It has a reduced swim bladder.
  • Unlike many stygofauna – which usually have reduced coloring and have poor or no vision – gollum has well-developed pigmentation and normally-sized eyes.
  • Due to its reduced swim bladder, gollum cannot remain buoyant in water.
  • Like other snakehead fishes, it breathes air. It moves by undulating its fins, like an eel.

Distribution and habitat

  • gollum is known only from its type locality, a paddy field in Oorakam, Kerala, in the biodiverse Western Ghats; one other occurrence was reported in a well 250 km south of the type locality.
  • Its habitat in subterranean aquifers is threatened by about six million groundwater wells in the region, which lower the water table.


Q. Recently, Aenigmachanna gollum was in the news. What is it?

A. Drumstick species

B.  Fungus

C. Moss

D.   Snakehead fish

Choose the correct code.

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D

Answer: 4. D