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Peacock Bass ID Guide

An Anglers Guide to the
Recognized Species of Peacock Bass

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'Popoca'Cichla monoculus  —Spix & Agassiz 183

Amazon Peacock Bass species Cichla monoculus
Cichla monoculus

Called "popoca" or "botão" in Brazil, Cichla monoculus is widely distributed along the Amazon main stem and up to the mid-upper Rio Negro and tributaries. It is also found in coastal rivers. Typically attains up to 5 pounds but has been known to reach 10.

Where to catch: Floating Bungalow trip
                            Blackwater Explorer yacht trip

ID Key: Short vertical bars that do not extend below the lateral line and a long horizontal bar beginning at the base of the pectoral fin. No individualized ocellum at the base of second dorsal and no opercular (cheek) markings. Brilliantly colored when spawning. Large specimens have dark occipital bar.

Identification Keys
Bars and Markings Colors Size Key Characters Similar Species
3 distinct, entire, short, broad bars from dorsal peak to near lateral line. Postorbital band on operculum (cheek markings) not present. Irregular horizontal dark bar on abdominal side. Markings and color fairly consistent between individuals, except for reproductively active specimens who show brilliant red markings around lower jaw. Juveniles: up to about 200mm
(8 inches)

Adults: from 200mm up to about 450mm (18 inches)
Depth to length ratio: approx. 30%

Lateral Line Scales: approx. 75
Most similar to
C. kelberi
C. pleiozona
Angler's Summary
Known Range Behavior Notes Habitat Common Names IGFA records
Countries: Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil

River Basins: Rio Solimoes - Amazonas basin to Marajo Island (near mouth of Amazon). Widespread throughout Amazon basin.
Where found with congeners (other species of peacock bass), such as C. temensis, C. monoculus tends to occupy the shallower or more structure dense areas of the fishery, especially related to dense tangles of wood. Primarily occupies lentic (slow or still water) environments in floodplain lakes and backwater river lagoons, both blackwater and whitewater. popoca
botao
All tackle—lbs

Fishing Tactics

In waters where C. temensis is present, C. monoculus tends to occupy lentic (slow) waters with the most dense structure. It readily strikes subsurface lures, including jigs and flies and will sometimes take Zara Spooks and small woodchoppers on the surface. In Rio Solimoes waters where C. temensis is not present, it can be found guarding fry and will readily attack large surface plugs. Angling characteristics in other regions are not known to us.

If you have fished for Cichla monoculus in other waters and have information to contribute, please contact usE-Mail Paul Reiss

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