Asian arowanas grow up to 90 cm (35 in) total length. They have long bodies; large pectoral fins; dorsal and anal fins located far back on the body. These mouthbrooding carnivores have paired barbels on the end of the lower jaw.
Asian arowana scales are large and, in some species, metallic colored, with a distinctive network of raised ribs. They inhabit blackwater rivers, slow-moving waters flowing through forested swamps and wetlands. Adults are piscivorous, with juveniles feeding on insects.
All species of arowanas are paternal mouthbrooders. Slow to reach sexual maturity, they are difficult to breed in captivity. Asian arowanas are considered "lucky" fish by many people, particularly those from Asian cultures.