Arapaima gigas (Schinz, 1822)
photo by Lovshin, L.

Family:  Arapaimidae (Bonytongues)
Max. size:  450 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 200 kg
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; pH range: 6 - 6.5; dH range: 10
Distribution:  South America: Amazon River basin. International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.7.75). The active fishing of this fish has reduced both the population size, and occurrence of large individuals, especially around the populated regions of the Amazon (Ref. 50891).
Biology:  Often referred to as the largest freshwater fish. Builds a nest of about 15 cm depth and 50 cm width in sandy bottoms. Spawns in April and May and guards the eggs and the young. Obligate air breather. The fish rises to the surface of the water and inspires air in a noisy, distinctive gulp, which is reported to carry for long distances (Ref. 50891). Migrates into higher floodplain habitats with rising water and moves back eventually to lacustrine habitats during low water level (Ref. 116898). Threatened due to over harvesting (Ref. 58490).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 01 August 1996 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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