Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Osteoglossiformes
Family: Osteoglossidae (Bonytongues)

Genus/species: Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: O. bicirrhosum is a large fish with a length to 1.2 m (4 ft) and weight to 4.6 kg (10 lbs). The silvery body is covered with very big scales, and the dorsal and anal fins are almost fused with the caudal fin. Two barbels are found at the end of the lower jaw.

Silver ArawansIMG_1974


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: This fish is found in tropical freshwater, and is especially prevalent in flooded areas and swamps in the Amazon River system. It is capable of adapting to environments with low oxygen levels.


DIET IN THE WILD: Silver Arowana feed mainly on crustaceans, insects, smaller fishes, and other animals that float on the water; its upturned mouth is an adaptation for surface feeding. Sometimes called the “water monkey” for its jumping abilities, O. bicirrhosum have been known to leap some 2 m (6.5 ft) out of the water to pluck a surprised and often doomed insect or bird from overhanging branches. Bats and snakes have also been occasionally found as stomach contents.

REPRODUCTION: Silver Arowana use external fertilization. Interestingly, the male carries eggs, larvae, and young juveniles in his mouth for about 2 months. Life span: Estimates range from 10–20 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; Not Evaluated
CITES: No special status

Amazon Flooded Tunnel


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