The common name is derived from the ability of genus members to produce audible sounds via a specialised pectoral mechanism which is unique within the family Osphronemidae. The structure comprises modified pectoral-fin tendons and muscles which are stretched and plucked by the basal portion of the anterior fin rays in a similar way to guitar strings. The pectoral-fins beat alternately, each able to generate short or long bursts of sound. These sounds are produced by both sexes, predominantly during agnostic and nuptial interactions, and they differ in temporal parameters, frequency, and pressure between the species. Studies suggest that Trichopsis species are able to settle conflicts without damaging each other physically by assessing factors such as body weight and length, which are transmitted by both visual and acoustic ‘croaking’ signals. During courtship the female produces ‘purring’ sounds in order to initiate spawning, and they are the only fishes in which this is known to occur.
This species is peaceful unless breeding. It can be maintained in a pair or group, and will display some interesting behavioural interactions under the latter circumstances.