Conservation Genetics

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 695–703 | Cite as

Population structure of the black arowana (Osteoglossum ferreirai) in Brazil and Colombia: implications for its management

  • Ana Maria Olivares
  • Tomas Hrbek
  • Maria Doris Escobar
  • Susana Caballero
Research Article


In regions with high biodiversity, where species are exploited as a source of income, it is essential to learn more about the species that are being commercialized. For the ornamental fish black arowana (Osteoglossum ferreirai), distributed only in Colombia and Brazil, there is currently a lack of information about population estimates in each location, genetic data and lastly, about the events that lead to the current distribution of the species. A genetic population study was conducted by sequencing the mitochondrial genes cytochrome b and ATPase 6, and genotyping of eight microsatellite loci. Mitochondrial gene results indicated the absence of variable sites, and the microsatellite results showed a significantly lower heterozygosity than expected demonstrating that currently the genetic diversity of the species is low. The fact that this species is been exploited and that it shows low genetic diversity means it can quickly become endangered. For this reason, conservation, management and use programs for the black arowana should include and consider the genetic data obtained as well as additional life history and ecological factors to promote its sustainable use.


Osteoglossum ferreirai Black arowana Population genetics Microsatellites Ornamental fish trade Conservation 



We are grateful to P. Falla and L. Carillo, as well as to Incoder (Instituto Colombiano de Desarrollo Rural) and Fundación Omacha in Puerto Carreño for their help with sample collection in the Colombian orinoco. We thank Cristian Salinas and the fishermen in Barcelos that help us with the sample collection in Brazil. Special thanks go to I. Farias and the LEGAL laboratory member for their help with fieldwork logistics and laboratory access in Brazil. We are thankful for all the financial support for this project that was provided by Incoder (through Fundación Omacha), to a Colombia Biodiversa granrt from Fundación Alejandro Angel Escobar, to the grant of Especies Amenazadas from the Fundacion Omacha and Proyecto Semilla from faculty of science from the Universidad de los Andes.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Maria Olivares
    • 1
  • Tomas Hrbek
    • 2
  • Maria Doris Escobar
    • 2
  • Susana Caballero
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Ecología Molecular de Vertebrados Acuáticos-LEMVA, Biological Sciences DepartmentUniversidad de Los AndesBogotaColombia
  2. 2.Laboratório da Evolução e Genética AnimalUniversidade do AmazonasManausBrazil

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