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The Asian arowana Scleropages formosus comprises several phenotypic varieties of freshwater fish distributed geographically across Southeast Asia. They have several other common names, including Asian bonytonguedragonfishand a number of names specific to the different color varieties.

Native to Southeast AsiaAsian arowanas inhabit blackwater riversslow-moving waters flowing through forested swamps and wetlands. Adults feed on other fish, while juveniles feed on insects. These popular aquarium fish have special cultural significance in areas influenced by Chinese culture.

The name ‘dragonfish’ stems from their resemblance to the Chinese dragon.

This popularity has had both positive and negative effects on their status as endangered species. Like all members of the OsteoglossidaeAsian arowanas are highly adapted to fresh water and are incapable of surviving rev the ocean. Therefore, their spread throughout the islands of southeast Asia suggests they diverged from other osteoglossids before the continental breakup was complete. Genetic studies have confirmed this hypothesis, showing the ancestor of the Asian arowanas diverged from the ancestor of the Australian arowanas, S.

This divergence took place in the eastern margin of Gondwanalandwith the ancestors of Asian arowanas carried on the Indian subcontinent or smaller landmasses into Asia. The morphological similarity of all Scleropages species shows little evolutionary change has taken place recently for these ancient fish.

Several distinct, naturally occurring colour varieties are recognised as haplotypeseach found in a specific geographic region.

Ina study [6] proposed breaking S. This classification was based on both morphometrics and a phylogenetic analysis using the cytochrome b gene, and includes these species:. The majority of researchers dispute this reclassification, arguing that the published data are insufficient to justify recognizing more than one Southeast Asian species of Scleropagesand that divergent haplotypes used to distinguish the color strains into isolated species were found within a single color strain, contradicting the findings.

They are considered monotypicconsisting of closely related haplotypes. The mouth is oblique with a very wide gape. The prominent lower jaw has two barbels at its tip. The gill rakers are stout. Asian arowanas bear teeth on many bones of the mouth, including the jaws, vomer, palatines, pterygoids, parasphenoid, and tongue. Asian arowana scales are large, cycloidand, in some varieties, metallic-coloured, with a distinctive mosaic pattern of raised ribs.

Asian arowanas are distinguished from Australian congenerics Scleropages jardinii and Scleropages leichardti by having fewer lateral line scales versus for the Australian specieslonger pectoral and pelvic fins, and a longer anterior snout. Green arowanas are dark green on the back, silvery or golden green on its sides, and silvery or whitish on the ventral surface, with dark greenish or bluish patches visible through the lateral scales.

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In mature fish, the top of the eye and the head behind the eye are bright emerald. Both grey-tailed and yellow-tailed silver Asian arowanas are dark grey on the back and silver on the sides, with dark ring patches on the lateral scales and a silvery or whitish belly.

In yellow-tailed specimens, the fin membranes are yellowish with dark-grey rays. In grey-tailed specimens, the fins are uniformly dark grey.

Mature red-tailed golden arowanas have brilliant metallic gold lateral scales, gill coversbellies, and pectoral and pelvic fin membranes, although the back is dark. In juveniles, the areas destined to develop golden colour ssuper out metallic silver.

Asian arowana

The anal fin and the bottom portion arqana the caudal fin are light brown to dark red. Mature gold crossback arowanas are distinguished from the red-tailed golden arowanas by having metallic gold crossing the back completely.

This variety also lacks the reddish fins of the red-tailed golden. In mature super red arowanas, the gill covers, lateral scales, and fin membranes of these fishes are metallic red, with the exact hue varying from gold-tinged to deep red. The back is dark brown.

In juveniles, the darker the dorsal colouration, the deeper the red will be on maturity. Unlike most fish, the Asian arowana reaches sexual maturity relatively late, after 3—4 yr. The females produce few eggs,which are quite large.

After the eggs are fertilized, the Asian arowana exhibits great parental care with paternal mouthbrooding. Both the fertilized eggs and larvae are brooded within the male’s mouth. They spend the day in the protection of Pandanus roots or other structures, and feed at night. Asian arowanas are considered to be symbols of good luck and prosperity, especially by those from Asian cultures. This reputation derives from the species’ resemblance to the Chinese dragonconsidered an auspicious symbol.

In addition, positive feng shui associations with water and the colours red and gold make these fishes popular for aquaria. One belief is that while water is a place where chi ssuper, it is naturally a source of yin energy and must contain an “auspicious” fish such as an arowana to have balancing yang energy.

Asian arowanas are listed as endangered by the IUCN Red Listwith the most recent evaluation taking place in Other nations restrict or prohibit possession of Asian arowanas; for example, the United States has listed this species under the Endangered Species Actso it cannot be kept in that country without arwaba permit.

Declining habitat is a major threat. For example, Asian arowanas are now uncommon in the Malay Peninsulawhere they were once widely distributed, due to environmental destruction. However, habitat loss is likely a greater threat than aquarium collecting.


No recent evaluation of conservation status has been done by the IUCN.


All strains are probably endangered, but some notably the super red and red-tailed golden more critically than others. Its popularity has soared since the late s, and hobbyists may pay thousands of U. Beginning inCITES began allowing Asian arowanas to be arrwana, provided certain criteria were met, most notably that they were bred in arwaha on a fish farm shper at least two generations. First, fish farms provide arwxna buyer with a certificate of authenticity and a birth certificate.

Second, each specimen receives an implanted microchipcalled a passive integrated transponder, which identifies individual animals.

Genetic fingerprinting has been used to assess the genetic diversity of a captive population at a Singapore fish farm to improve the management areana this species. According to author Emily Voigt, the arowana has been cause for kidnappings, canings and even murder. They are territorial and may be kept with other Scleropages only in a very large aquarium, provided all fish are of similar size.

Like other arowanasthey need a tight-fitting cover to prevent escape. Asian arowanas are carnivorous and should be fed a high-quality diet of meaty food, such as shrimp and crickets.

They are surface feeders and prefer to take food in the upper parts of the water column. Aquarists recommend live foods and meaty prepared foods. Examples of appropriate live foods include scorpionscentipedesmealwormscricketsshrimpsfeeder fish duper, small frogsand earthworms. Prepared foods include prawns shrimplean pork, frozen fish food, and pelleted food. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Asian arowana Super red arowana Conservation status. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology.

Arwana super red | Toluna

The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology: International Institute for Advanced Studies: Retrieved 22 April Archived from the original on Journal of Fish Biology. Archived from the original on May 17, Retrieved 10 May Aquarium Sciences and Conservation.

Complete Encyclopedia of the Freshwater Aquarium. Archived from the original on October 25, Retrieved 25 October Arowana Dragon Fish from Anglo Aquarium. California Academy of Sciences. Search results for Osteoglossum formosum. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved ardana March arwqna International Union for Conservation of Nature. Ismail, Mohd Zakaria Kottelat, Maurice; Widjanarti, Enis July 1, The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Kumazawa, Yoshinori; Nishida, Mutsumi 1 December Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Quarterly Xuper Biohistory Winter. Morphologic and genetic evidences”. Shin Min Daily News. Retrieved from ” https: Articles with ‘species’ microformats Articles containing video clips. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikispecies. This page was last edited on 25 Octoberat