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Arowana Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Identity card


Scientific name:
Osteoglossum bicirrhosum
Year of description:
Cuvier, 1829
IUCN Status:
Not Evaluated

Not evaluated


South America, in the Amazon River basin.


It is found in fresh water, in the Amazon River.


It can grow up to 90 cm in length and reach a maximum weight of 6 kg.


The arowana is omnivorous. It feeds mainly on small fish at the surface, but it also feeds on grasshoppers, ants and bee

Arowana Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

The arowanas at NAUSICAA are encouraged to jump out of the water to catch their food.


By reproducing this natural behaviour, they maintain their musculature as champions of the high jump!

did you know?

To catch its prey, it folds its body into an "S" shape and suddenly flexes to propel itself out of the water, up to a height of more than a metre. If it swims in poorly oxygenated water, it can breathe air directly from the water's surface.

Where is the animal to be found?

The arowana is a freshwater fish that lives in the Amazon River and its major tributaries. It spreads in the flood waters of the Amazon rainforest during the rainy season.

How can it be recognised?

The mouth of the silver arowana is turned upwards to catch prey on the surface.

What is distinctive about it?

With arowana, fertilisation is external. Its particularity lies in the fact that the male collects the fertilized eggs and keeps them in its mouth. Juveniles stay there for a while for protection. The incubation period is 6 weeks, which includes the protection period.

Therefore, the male has a mouth with a fleshy lower lip and small teeth, as opposed to females.

Threat and protective measure

Its trade represents a significant economic asset for the rural population of the Amazon basin.

Arowana Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Where can I find it at Nausicaá?

mankind and shores

The submerged forest

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