One of the largest freshwater fish
Arapaima Scientific Classification
Arapaima Physical Characteristics
Red, Black, Green, Light-Brown
20 years
200kg-220kg (440lbs – 485lbs)
Arapaima Distribition

The Arapaima (additionally referred to as the pirarucu or paiche) is a massive freshwater fish discovered in the exotic waters of South America.

It is the biggest recognized freshwater fish as well as can evaluate numerous extra pounds. Nevertheless, they are additionally caring moms and dads, as the male arapaima looks after his young in his mouth after they hatch out from eggs.

5 Amazing Arapaima (Pirarucu) Truths!

  • Famous food: Arapaima fish were included on th e popular food preparation program Iron Cook America as a secret component.
  • Large Gulp: Arapaima fish make use of the “gulp” approach to feed, which implies they draw target in near to the surface area of the water utilizing their big mouths.
  • Air- rests: Arapaima fish have oxygen bladders as well as take a breath air for the majority of their lives– just young arapaima fish have gills.
  • Enormous fish: They are the biggest freshwater fish worldwide.
  • Bony tongues: They are referred to as bonytongue fish, as well as their tongues made use of to squash target versus the roofing systems of their mouths.

Arapaima (Pirarucu) Classification as well as Scientific Name

The name of the genus Arapaima originates from the tupí- guaraní word for this freshwater fish. They are additionally referred to as “pirarucu” in Brazil, which about equated ways “red fish.” In Peru, they are called “paiche”.

Arapaima was when believed to be a genus of just one species, Arapaima gigas Due to this, Arapaima gigas is one of the most well- investigated of every one of the subspecies. Nevertheless, as numerous as 4 divides species have actually been uncovered, with one of the most current one discovered in the Solimões River in Brazil. Arapaima leptosoma, uncovered in 2013, originates from the Greek word leptos, which implies “slim”, as well as soma, which implies “body.” Arapaima mapae originates from the Lago do Amapá in Brazil, which is where it obtains its scientific name. The last species, Arapaima agassizii was called after popular biologist Louis Agassiz.

Arapaima (Pirarucu) Species

4 species of Arapaima have actually been identified until now:

  • Arapaima gigas: One of the most well- researched of every one of the species. Lives in the River Container as well as is proactively fished for its meat, ranges, as well as bony tongue.
  • Arapaima mapae: Has an optimum size of 2 meters, as well as is discovered in the Lago do Amapá in Brazil.
  • Arapaima leptosoma: Uncovered in 2013 in the Solimões River in Brazil. It is identified from various other species by being particularly slim.
  • Arapaima agassizii: Called after biologist Louis Agassiz. Has less rows of teeth than Arapaima gigas Discovered in the Brazilian

Arapaima (Pirarucu) Appearance

These fish are both lengthy as well as hefty. They can rise to 10ft in size, with some resources declaring an optimum size of 15ft (4.7 m). They evaluate approximately 220kg (485lbs). They have copper- eco-friendly heads as well as black bodies, with lighter ranges in the facility. Their tails are covered in red ranges, which is where the name (Pirarucu), or “red fish,” originates from.

The fish’s big, bony ranges safeguard them from piranhas as well as various other all-natural predators of the jungle. The ranges can be approximately 6cm lengthy each. They have long, slim bodies as well as tail fins that are rounded as well as little, which function well for them in the slow-moving- relocating rivers that they call house. Their dorsal fins extend along their backs. Their bony tongues are the specifying feature of the bonytongue fish or Osteoglossiformes.

Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) one largest freshwater fish and river lakes in Brazil
SergioRocha/Shutterstock. com

Arapaima (Pirarucu) Distribution, Populace, as well as Environment

All species are belonging to South America, specifically in Brazil, Peru, as well as Guyana. They can be discovered in numerous components of the floodplains of the River Container.

They choose slow-moving- relocating, freshwater. This kind of water is generally marshy as well as lacking oxygen, which does not trouble them. These fish take a breath air utilizing an oxygen bladder as well as can remain undersea for approximately 20 minutes. They can endure beyond water for over 24-hour. Due to the fact that they require to be taking a breath air continuously, they do not dive really deeply as well as adhere to the surface area of the water.

There is inadequate information on the populace dimension of the Arapaima genus, so their conservation status is Information Deficient. Regardless of this reality, big arapaima is secured by limitations on harvesting as well as exporting. This is because big arapaima has actually been tougher to locate in the wild, most likely because of overfishing as well as environment loss.

Arapaima (Pirarucu) Predators as well as Target

These fish primarily eat various other species of fish discovered in the slow-moving- relocating waters they call house. They have the ability to place themselves underneath their target as well as “gulp” at them near the surface area of the water. This activity produces a suction- like vortex that compels the target right into the arapaima’s mouth. There, the target is squashed by their bony tongues as well as rows of difficult teeth.

They are additionally recognized to eat fruit as well as seeds that drop near the water’s surface area.

Due to their hard layer of ranges, grownups have couple of all-naturalpredators Jungle caiman is the only animal recognized to take advantage of them. Infant arapaima, called fry, are commonly preyed upon by various other species of fish, specifically numerous species of cichlid.

Humans are without a doubt the biggest risk to these fish. They have actually been thought about a food resource by neighborhood South Americans for numerous years, as well as they are additionally exported in restricted total up to cooks as well as kitchen areas worldwide. Overfishing has actually created a decrease in arapaima populaces.

Arapaima (Pirarucu) Recreation as well as Life-span

Arapaima reproducing takes place in concurrence with the flooding as well as completely dry periods in their environment. For fifty percent of the year, there are dry spell problems, as well as for the various other fifty percent, there are swamping problems. Throughout the dry spell periods (usually February, March, as well as April), the female Arapaima digs a nest with her friend. This nest has to do with 20 inches broad by 8 inches deep as well as is explored the soft mud. There, the female down payments approximately 50,000 eggs, which the male after that feeds.

When the young are birthed, the male arapaima increases them in his mouth. The arapaima fry are a dark shade, so the male’s head transforms dark to camouflage as well as camouflage them. In order to maintain them close, the maile arapaima launches a scent from his head that brings in the children as well as maintains them close. On the other hand, the female swims close by as well as secures the young versus predators.

Due to the fact that the eggs are stocked the completely dry period, the children hatch as well as have the ability to prosper throughout the floodwaters of the stormy period. Both moms and dads assist freshen the water for them, as young arapaima still take a breath will certainly gills. These gills gradually discontinue to operate as they age.

Arapaima (Pirarucu) in Angling as well as Food Preparation

Called “the cod of the,” this fish assistance received the neighborhood populace. One fish can feed lots of people. The meat hurts, as well as it has couple of bones, so it is best for barbecuing as well as scorching.

Due to the fact that it is dealt with as an uncommon special, arapaima has actually been overfished somewhat. Some limitations for angling have actually been put on the species.


  1. EOL, Available here:
  2. Fishbase, Available here:
  3. Britannica, Available here:
  4. Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, Available here:
  5. Animal Diversity Web, Available here:

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