field guide to the freshwater fishes of singapore

Index of fishes
General parts of a fish
Kelvin K P Lim and Peter K L Ng
  Family Osteoglossidae

An ancient group of freshwater fishes (popularly called Bony-Tongues) represented in South East Asia and Australia by the Dragon Fishes and Barramundis (Scleropages), in South America by the Arawanas (Osteoglossus) and Arapaima or Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas), and in Africa by Heterotis. They are characterised by their bony head, large, plate-like scales, and amongst other things, a distinctly bony tongue (hence the family name).

Genus Scleropages
photo of whole fish, side view Green variety
photo: Francis Lim

photo of whole fish, side view
Young Dragon Fish
photo: Francis Lim
Golden Dragon Fish
Scleropages formosus
Ikan Kelesa,
name in chinese characters

Primary freshwater fish; 90 cm; oviparous (mouth-brooding); predatory; solitary or in pairs; surface to midwater dweller. Introduced, uncommon. Ponds, reservoirs.
This famous fish is native to South East Asia. It is also frequently called the Arowana or Arawana, but it is perhaps better to restrict this name to the South American genus which has the same name.

This releasee from the aquarium trade has a good potential of becoming established, especially in the catchment reservoirs. It is usually kept alone in large tanks as it is highly territorial, but fairly hardy. Three colour varieties are recognised by aquarists, the red, the golden and the green; of which, the red variety is the most expensive. At present, this majestic fish is banned from sale as it is an endangered species. The fish is able to breathe atmospheric oxygen to some degree.
Freshwater habitats
Fishes in Singapore
Amazing Fishy Facts
About the guidebook
From A Guide to Common Freshwater Fishes of Singapore by Kelvin K P Lim and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP

@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre