Stunning new species of arowana

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A new species of Asian arowana thought to be from the Thanintharyi (Tenasserim) River drainage in the extreme south of Myanmar has been described.

The new fish was named by ichthyologist Tyson Roberts in the most recent issue of the journal Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology.

The new arowana is known as Scleropages inscriptus, and is distinguished from other members of the genus in having a distinctive pattern of wavy lines on the scales and facial bones, making it one of the most attractive species of Asian arowana known.

This is the first time that the presence of Scleropages has been recorded from Myanmar, although aquarists in Thailand have been aware of the existence of this fish for about ten years now.  The exact locality where the fish has been collected is unclear, as it is only known to aquarium fish exporters in Meik and Yangon.

Interestingly, Roberts records that sufficient individuals of S. inscriptus have been photographed for it to be noted that the maze-like markings on the head and body are never the same in any two individuals.

Based on overall morphology, measurements and counts, the new species is hypothesised to be most closely related to the Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus).

For more information, see the paper: Roberts, TR (2012) Scleropages inscriptus, a new fish species from the Tananthayi or Tenasserim River basin, Malay Peninsula of Myanmar (Osteoglossidae: Osteoglossiformes). Aqua, International Journal of ichthyology 18, pp. 113–118.

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