Aruana—Osteoglossum Bicirrhosum—(Cuvier, 1829)
An interesting target for anglers, especially on light tackle, aruana are found in a wide-range of water types. They have earned the epithet, monkey-fish (macaco d'agua) due to their penchant for leaping out of the water to pluck unsuspecting insects and even small birds from overhanging branches. They will strike both surface and subsurface baits as well as well-presented flies.
|Bars and Markings||Colors||Size||Key Characters||Similar Species|
|The body is relatively uniform and free of markings. Individual scales however, contain subtle gradations of color. Due to their large size, they create a reticulated effect overlying the background color.||Ranging from silvery to brassy. Abdomen lighter. Reticulate pattern of color on glossy scales creates a network of pink to purplish color.||Adults: up to almost 1 meter and exceeding 11 pounds.||barbels on lower jaw
elongate, laterally compressed body
small tail w/extended dorsal and anal fins
large oblique jaw
|Two species of aruana are found in the Amazon basin.
O. bicirrhosum is widespread, while
a smaller species,
O. ferreirai, is restricted to the Rio Negro basin.
|Known Range||Behavior Notes||Habitat||Common Names||IGFA records|
|Countries: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana and Fr. Guiana.
River Basins: Amazon, Rupununi and Oyapock drainages
|The Aruana is known to be a mouthbrooder, with the male caring for the young. Aruana exploit a wide variety of food types, stomach content studies found insects, crustaceans, terrestrial vertebrates (birds, reptiles and small mammals), fish, and even plant material.||Inhabits the flooded forest during high water and concentrates in lagoons and lakes during low water. Often found very close to shore. Sometimes in occurs open water in small schools of up to 50 fish.||English: Arrowana
Inhabiting similar waters, aruana are often caught by peacock bass anglers. Aruana readily take most of the same baits, including walking stick baits, jigs, swimming plugs and even the occasional prop bait. They will also readily strike a fly. Anglers can target them by sight fishing, since they are often readily visible near the surface and under overhanging limbs. On occasion small schools swimming near the surface can be encountered in open water, where they make a ready target for a well-cast lure. A pleasure on a fly rod.