Red Arowana (Scleropages Formosus)

Red Arowana (Scleropages Formosus)

- in Underwater, Fauna

ITS–G-53-1-ARWANAThe Red Arowana (Scleropages formosus) is an ancient, endangered  species which is protected by a 1980 govermental law prohibiting the collecting and selling of the species. However, it is now widely cultivated and exported through a quota basis under a recommendation from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Scleropages formosus has a thin, strap like and compressed body. It has a very large mouth which is strongly oblique. Two barbels can be found on the chin and the body is covered with huge scales.

The species is silvery green in colour. Its fins are yellow-green with red shading. The Red Arowana can reach up to 120 cm long. Sexually mature females have a larger body circumference while the males which have an elongated lower jaw and larger anal fins. The species live in stagnant river backwaters and shallow pools with rich and overgrown vegetation. It is a carnivorous species which feeds only on live food. The fish form schools during the juvenile stage but become territorial when older. The male carries the eggs in his mouth until development is complete.

In an aquarium, it can only live with larger peaceable fish. The Red Arowana can be found in the Malay and Indonesian archipelago, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. In Indonesia, the species was first found in 1845 in West Kalimantan. Red Arowanas are exported from Indonesia and are highly priced.

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