Saratoga (fish)

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Osteoglossiformes
Family: Osteoglossidae
Subfamily: Osteoglossinae
Genus: Scleropages
Species: S. leichardti
Binomial name
Scleropages leichardti
(Gunther, A., 1864)

The saratoga, Scleropages leichardti, also known as the spotted bonytongue, spotted saratoga, or southern saratoga, is a freshwater bony fish native to Australia. It belongs to the subfamily Osteoglossinae, or arowanas, a primitive group of teleosts. Like all arowanas, it is a carnivorous mouthbrooder.

Along with the gulf saratoga (S. jardinii), the saratoga is also known as the Australian arowana (mainly by non-Australian aquarists) and barramundi, although the latter name is nowadays reserved in Australia for the unrelated Lates calcarifer.

This species is found in turbid waters and has a more restricted distribution than the other Scleropages native to Australia, Scleropages jardinii.

Like all Scleropages, S. leichardti is a long-bodied fish with large scales, large pectoral fins, and small paired barbels on its lower jaw. Each scale on its dark colored body has a red or pink spot; this feature distinguishes it from S. jardinii, which has several reddish spots on each scale in a crescent shape. S. leichardti is a slimmer fish than other Scleropages; a 90 cm (35 in.) fish was weighed at only 4 kg (8.8 lbs.), compared to 17.2 kg (38 lb.) for a S. jardinii of similar length. The depth of its body is 23-25% of its Standard Length, and it has fewer fin rays than S. jardinii. It is a popular aquarium fish, although it will eat other fish, shrimp, yabbies etc, that are in the tank.
Conservation status

This species is not currently listed on any CITES appendix. [1]. Its IUCN Red List status is Lower Risk/near threatened (LT/nt) [2]. Although it does not occur naturally in Indonesia, it is a protected species in that country.

It has been stocked in number of dams in Queensland, Australia

* Scleropages leichardti (TSN 649801). Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved on 19 March 2006.
* Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Scleropages leichardti" in FishBase. 2 2006 version.
* Dawes, John; Chuan, Lim Lian; & Cheong, Leslie, ed (1999). Dragon Fish, The. Havant, England: Kingdom Books England. ISBN 1852791004.