Arowana (Osteoglossum Bicirrhosum)
The Asian Arowana in Thailand is an elongated predatory monster fish with silver to green armoured scaling that has a wide gaping mouth with distinctive barbels located on the tip of its protruding lower jaw.
Green Arowana display a dark green colouration on their dorsal side with golden green scaling along their lateral side (flanks) with a silver to white colouration on their ventral surface (stomach).
The armoured scaling of the Arowana has a metallic appearance that is covered with an intricate and delicate net like pattern giving the fish a glistening colouration.
The Arowana has elongated pectoral, dorsal and anal fins located far back on the body giving the Arowana a sleek stream lined appearance.
The Arowana is a member of the Osteoglossidae (bony tongues) family of fishes an ancient group of fish dating back 130 million years to the Cretaceous period which is widely spread across tropical regions of the world. It is believed that very little evolutionary change has occurred in this ancient species in recent years.
The Arowana is found in Africa, South Eastern Asia and South America most commonly in the Amazon basin. The Green Arowana is the most common variety which is distributed in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia (Sumatra and Kalimantan).
The Green (Asian) Arowana is highly adapted to freshwater conditions and is not tolerant of marine water. Populations of Arowana which are situated on the Indonesian islands are believed to be ancestors of Arowana which were present before the continental break up was complete.
Swimming close to the surface the Arowana feeds on insects, fishes, snakes and small birds and is capable of jumping 3 ft out of the water to catch prey from overhanging trees.
The Arowana is also known as the Dragon Fish due to its similarity to that of a Chinese dragon and is considered lucky by various cultures in South East Asia.
Arowana are stocked into various freshwater fishing lakes and aquariums throughout Thailand where they are highly prized by visiting sport fishermen for their hard fighting and aerial qualities when caught on light spinning outfits and fly fishing techniques.