Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

31. August 2020

One of the absolute classics among the large fish, which have been an indispensable part of the assortment of zoos, show aquariums and also private large aquariums for decades, is the silver arowana, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, which is widespread in the Amazon region and the rivers Rupununi and Oyapock (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guyana and Peru). The species grows up to 90 cm long and is an important food fish in its native countries. Arowanas practice brood care, the species is a mouth-breeder in the male sex.

In trade are both imported animals from Peru and Colombia – mostly young fish up to about 10 cm long – but also offspring from Singapore and Indonesia. From these breeding centres often larger animals are imported, sometimes also breeding forms which do not exist in nature. Since arowanas are identified with dragons in Asian mythology and dragons bring luck, among other things, platinum-coloured (https://www.aquariumglaser.de/fischarchiv/osteoglossum-bicirrhosum-platinum/) or albino arowanas are sought-after and also expensive fish.

We now have a few albino youngsters from Indonesia on offer. The ivory body lacks any black markings, only the yellow spots on the scales immediately behind the head, which in the natural form frame the black shoulder spot, and the yellow vertical stripes on the anal fin are present. The eye is not red, as is common in mammalian albinos; fish have more types of colour pigment cells than mammals, so albinism in them is not necessarily coupled with red-eye.

Here we show 7-9 cm long specimens of the same size of an albino from Indonesia and a wild form from Colombia, the differences are obvious.

For our customers: Albino Arowans have code 273242, wild code 273202 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer