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Peacock Bass ID Guide

An Anglers Guide to the
Recognized Species of Peacock Bass

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'Lower Xingu peacock'Cichla melaniae

Amazon Peacock Bass species Cichla melaniae
Cichla melaniae

Cichla melaniae is one of the newly described (2006) species of Cichla. The specimen at right was caught on the Rio Xingu in Brazil, by Dave Orndorf of Sunbury, OH.

ID Key: C. melaniae displays three prominent black vertical bars, slightly slimmer than other species and shows traces of medial bars between the three main bars. Numerous small black spots with light colored margins are scattered along the body sides. C. melaniae is similar to C. mirianae except for absence of light spots on head and absence of midlateral ocelli.

Identification Keys
Bars and Markings Colors Size Key Characters Similar Species
Distinguished by three narrow vertical bars and numerous ocellated spots scattered along body sides. Deep gold on sides, shading darker toward dorsum. Bars and ocellus black. Upper fins and tips of lower fins bluish. Juveniles: up to 200mm

Adults: from 200mm to 400mm
Depth to length ratio: approx. 31%

Lateral Line Scales: approx. 82
Most similar to
C. mirianae
Angler's Summary
Known Range Behavior Notes Habitat Common Names IGFA records
Countries: Brazil.

River Basins: lower Rio Xingu.
If you have fished for this species and have more detailed info, please contact us E-Mail Paul Reiss Lentic (off-current) lagoons and lotic (subject to river current) rock piles Cichla melaniae is named after Melanie Stiassny, an important contributor to Cichlid classification. 7 lb. 0 oz.

Fishing Tactics

Dave Orndorf caught specimens like the one pictured above on shallow running crank baits and jointed pikie minnows. As with other species of peacocks, they were caught in side lagoons as well as rock piles in the river. Dave upgraded his lures with enhanced hooks and split rings.

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