Arapaima gigas is a large freshwater fish native to the Amazon and Essequibo basins in South America. It has a long, slender body with a large, laterally compressed head and a long dorsal fin. Its scales are large and diamond-shaped, and its coloration is typically silver-gray with dark spots. It is an obligate air-breather, meaning it must surface to breathe air. It is a top predator in its environment, feeding on smaller fish, crustaceans, and insects. It has a lifespan of up to 20 years and can reach lengths of up to 2.5 meters. Its population is currently decreasing due to overfishing and habitat destruction.
Name Origin: The scientific name of the Arapaima gigas, also known as the giant arapaima, is derived from the Tupi language of the Amazon region. Arapaima translates to "red fish" and gigas is Latin for "giant". This name was given to the species due to its large size and reddish color.
Related Species: Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, Osteoglossum ferreirai, Osteoglossum belta, Osteoglossum thomense, Osteoglossum marapoama, Osteoglossum formosum, Osteoglossum lepturum, Osteoglossum niloticum