The bony tongues (Osteoglossidae) are ancient fish nobility. They bear witness to the time when Africa, India, Australia, Antarctica and South America still formed a coherent continent called Gondwana. It was during this time that the bony tongues evolved. About 150 million years ago, Gondwana broke apart and today’s continents were formed. As if on rafts, the bony tongues drifted apart on the continental floes. Today they exist in South America (2 species Osteoglossum and 5 species Arapaima), in Africa (Heterotis niloticus) and with several species (the exact number is disputed) of the genus Scleropages in Asia and Australia.
The Australian species are colloquially called Saratoga and are traditionally divided into two species – Scleropages jardinii and S. leichardti. They are the least commonly imported of all the arowanas. They seem to retain their seasonal reproduction even in breeding facilities, and so we can generally offer them only a few weeks a year. Wild caught of these species are not in the trade. Now it is once again and we have S. jardinii on offer. The animals are currently 10-12 cm long. An interesting detail on the side: according to our supplier in Singapore he gets his animals from breeding farms in Australia.
Among themselves the young animals are a bit quarrelsome. There are no serious fights, but slightly damaged fins are the order of the day. The species grows to about 60 cm in length. They are predatory fish. Such rarities, which also grow very large, are acquired only by experienced aquarists, zoos and show aquariums with the appropriate aquarium equipment.
For our customers: the animals have code 454902 on our stock list. Please note that we supply only wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer