How to Draw an Arapaima

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw an Arapaima in 8 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Arapaima.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw an Arapaima - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Let's start drawing the Arapaima with the head. Draw a rounded cone shape that closes in on front. Add a very small line at the front. This will be for the mouth.

Step 2: For the face, draw a small black dot for the eye, and a small curved line for the mouth.

Step 3: Draw two long lines at the top and bottom for the body, leaving the back open. Arapaimas are the largest freshwater fish in South America-weighing up to 220 lbs!

Step 4: Next, add two small curved lines to draw the fins. Notice that the front fin is a bit bigger.

Step 5: For the tail, draw a big round, bumpy line that connects the top and bottom of the body.

Step 6: To draw the scales, draw a lot of lines at an angle, and then a lot of lines going the other way, like a cross-hatch.

Step 7: Draw a small curved line at the back of the head and a few small lines on the bottom fins for detail.

Step 8: Now, draw several small lines going outward at the end of the tail to finish the detail. Use green and black for the body of the Arapaima. You can also add red dots on the gills.

Interesting Facts about Arapaimas

Arapaimas are found only in the Amazon River. They are the largest freshwater fish in South America. The fish are long and thick and can weigh 220 lbs. They are a black and green color and have red spots on their gills. Arapaima eat smaller fish, crustaceans (crabs and crayfish), and sometimes they’ll pluck something like a frog off the shoreline. Mating pairs spawn their eggs when the water is low and move to food filled areas when the river floods. Arapaimas are air breathers that have the need to come for air every 20 minutes; this is how they are able to have such a diverse diet.

Did you know?

  • It is illegal to kill Arapaimas during their mating season.
  • People make nail files out of the Arapaima’s scales.
  • Also known as a Pirarucu.
  • Arapaima meat can be stored away for a long time without rotting.
  • Has what is called a “swim bladder” that works like lungs. That is why the Arapaima comes up to the surface.
  • The fish has been introduced to Thailand and Malaysia for fishermen.

Lesson Plan Note: Arapaimas are a great start to learning about the Amazon and its climate. Create coloring sheets and South American curriculum for a more in-depth study. A topic for any age group.