May 18, 2012
The arowana, which is named Scleropages inscriptus, comes from the Tenasserim or Tananthayi River basin on the Indian Ocean coast of peninsular Myanmar. According to Tyson Roberts, the ichthyologist who described the species, Scleropages inscriptus is distinguished from the closely-related Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus) by the maze-like markings on its scales and facial bones. Like zebra, each fish is believed to have a unique pattern.
Despite their large size and aggressive demeanor, arowana are popular aquarium fish. Asian species with distinctive coloration are particularly prized as "feng shui" fish believed to bring good luck. Some arowana may fetch tens of thousands of dollars at auction.
Their popularity has lead to some species being overexploited. This, together with ongoing destruction of their rainforest habitat, has led conservationists to restrict the trade in some arowana species.
Tyson R. Roberts. Scleropages inscriptus, a new fish species from the Tananthayi or Tenasserim River basin, Malay Peninsula of Myanmar (Osteoglossidae: Osteoglossiformes), pp. 113-118