Saratoga (fish)

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.

This species is not currently listed on any CITES appendix. . Its IUCN Red List status is Lower Risk/near threatened (LT/nt) . 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