Arapaimidae is a family of freshwater osteoglossiform fishes known as the bonytongues. This family includes the arapaimas of the Amazon and Essequibo basins in South America, and the African arowana from Africa. This family is sometimes considered to be a part of the arowana family, Osteoglossidae.
A genetic study shows that the Arapaimidae (arapaimas and African arowana) diverged from Osteoglossidae about 220 million years ago, during the Late Triassic. Within Osteoglossidae, the lineage leading to the South American Osteoglossum arowanas diverged about 170 million years ago, during the Middle Jurassic. The Asian and Australian arowanas in the genus Scleropages separated about 140 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous.
- Family Arapaimidae (Heterotidinae) Nelson 1968 sensu Li, Grande & Wilson 1997
- Genus †Arapaimidarum [otolith]
- Genus †Heterotidinarum Nolf, Rana & Prasad 2008 [otolith]
- Genus †Thrissopterus Heckel 1856
- Genus †Chandlerichthys Grande 1986
- Genus †Laeliichthys Silva Santos 1985
- Genus †Joffrichthys Li & Wilson 1996
- Genus †Sinoglossus Su 1986
- Genus Heterotis Rüppell 1829 ex Ehrenberg 1836 (African arowana)
- Genus Arapaima Müller 1843 (arapaima)
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). "Arapaimidae" in FishBase. August 2013 version.
- Kumazawa, Yoshinori (2003). "The reason the freshwater fish arowana live across the sea". Quarterly Journal Biohistory (Winter). Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
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