Osteoglossum: from the Greek osteon, meaning ‘bone’, and glossa, meaning ‘tongue’.
bicirrhosum: from the Latin bi, meaning ‘two’, and cirrhosum, meaning ‘tendrilled’, in reference to this species’ barbels.
Cuvier gave type locality as ‘Brazil’, with modern records indicating it to range throughout much of the Amazon basin in Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, plus the Rupununi and Oyapock systems in Guyana and French Guiana, respectively.
Relatively unfussy although some surface cover in the form of floating or overhanging vegetation or branches is appreciated.
It does best if there is a high proportion of dissolved oxygen and moderate degree of water movement so external filters, powerheads, airstones, etc., should be employed as necessary.
As stable water conditions are obligatory for its well-being this fish should never be added to biologically-immature aquaria and weekly water changes of 30-50% aquarium volume should be considered mandatory.
A tightly-fitting, heavy cover is also essential as Osteoglossum spp. are prodigious jumpers.
This species is a generalised predator with intestinal analyses of wild specimens revealing the natural diet to consist of other fishes, terrestrial insects, aquatic invertebrates and plant material in the form of fallen nuts and fruits.
Smaller specimens can be offered bloodworm, small earthworms, chopped prawn and suchlike while adults will accept strips of fish flesh, whole prawns/shrimp, mussels, live river shrimp, larger earthworms, etc.
Insects such as crickets or are also suitable to use although it’s best to fill the stomachs of these by feeding them fish flakes or some kind of vegetable matter before offering them to the fish, while floating dried products can also be used in limited quantities.
Like the vast majority of predatory fishes this species should not be fed mammalian or avian meat such as beef heart or chicken.