What type of creature is the Asian arowana?
The Asian arowana ('Scleropages formosus') is a large freshwater fish that has relatively large scales and an impressive jumping ability. They have several other common names, including 'Asian bonytongue', 'dragonfish', and a number of names specific to the different color varieties.
The arowana swims near the water surface to seek its prey, mostly feeding in insects and small fish although specimens have been found with the remains of birds, bats, and snakes in their stomachs, made possible by the arowana’s drawbridge-like mouth, designed for larger meals.
The Asian arowana is a listed protected animal so the silver arowana is often kept as a pet, being considered an acceptable and obtainable substitute. These popular aquarium fish have special cultural significance in areas influenced by Chinese culture. The name 'dragonfish' stems from their resemblance to the Chinese dragon. This popularity has had both positive and negative effects on their status as endangered species.
Asian arowanas grow up to 90 cm (35 in) total length. Like all 'Scleropages', Asian arowanas have long bodies; large, elongated pectoral fins, dorsal and anal fins located far back on the body; and a much larger caudal fin than that of their South American relative, the silver arowana, 'Osteoglossum bicirrhosum'.