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Peacock Bass ID Guide

An Anglers Guide to the
Recognized Species of Peacock Bass

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'tucunare azul'Cichla piquiti

Amazon Peacock Bass species Cichla piquiti
Cichla piquiti
Amazon Peacock Bass species Cichla piquiti
Cichla piquiti

Cichla piquiti  is one of the newly described species of Cichla (Kullander and Ferreira, 2006). See below for fishing reports from Stuart Willis and a thorough fishery description from Friedhelm Milord.

ID Key: Uniquely marked as adults with 5 wide dark vertical bars. Reproductively active specimens display the striking blue fin coloration that has given the species its common name.

Identification Keys
Bars and Markings Colors Size Key Characters Similar Species
Uniquely marked as adults with 5 wide dark vertical bars Body color varies from pale grey to yellow Juveniles:

Adults: up to 500mm
Depth to length ratio: approx. 28%

Lateral Line Scales: approx. 93
Most similar to
Angler's Summary
Known Range Behavior Notes Habitat Common Names IGFA records
Countries: Brazil.

River Basins: upper and lower rio Tocantins and Rio Araguaia drainage. Also introduced and extensively stocked in Brazil's southern regions
Not known to us at this time. If you have info and would like to share it on this site, please contact us -
E-Mail Paul Reiss
C. piquiti appear to occupy deeper habitats with more flow (e.g. channels), while sympatric species are more often in smaller, shallower or lentic habitats (e.g. lagoons). tucunare azul means blue peacock.
piquiti is a Tupi-Guarani Indian word meaning striped.
None

Fishing Tactics

C. kelberi  and C. piquiti - Report by Dr. Stuart Willis:

"We fished for these near Sao Felix, where the Rio das Mortes encounters the Araguaia. This is a clear, sandy, low-gradient, meandering floodplain river, with many lagoons and channels. C. piquiti and C. kelberi seem to divide ecological space not unlike C. temensis and C. monoculus in the Negro, or C. temensis and C. orinocensis in the Orinoco. That is, C. piquiti are larger, appear to occupy deeper habitats with more flow (e.g. channels), while C. kelberi are more often in smaller, shallower or lentic habitats (e.g. lagoons). We caught both on silver weedless spoons, my standard fare (the idiot-proof lure, I guess). Locals called these fishes tucunare branca (C. piquiti), and tucunare amarehla (C. kelberi), and only the large, sexually mature C. piquiti acquire the bluish fins, and hence the appellation tucunare azul (like the acu C. temensis)."

C. kelberi and C. piquiti - Report and fishery description by Friedhelm Milord in Portuguese (with English translation below):

"Bom, se a Amazônia é o império do Tucunaré Acú ,na região sudeste do Brasil de clima subtropical é o império do Tucunaré Azul que coexiste com o Amarelo, mas sempre o sobrepuja em numero e tamanho. Nesta região ele chega a 4,5 kg mas a média é de 1,5 a 2,5 kg. Mas ocorre em grande numero o ano inteiro o que torna as pescarias repletas de ação!

O Tucunaré é originário da bacia amazonica e não ocorria na bacia do prata (Rio Paraná e Paraguai). Na bacia do prata não existem muitas lagoas originalmente e o predominio era de espécies fluviais com migração de piracema. Mas na decada de 60 e 70 muitas barragens hidroelelétricas foram construidas nesta bacia e muitos lagos se formaram. O que aniquilou com os peixes fluviais (Dourado,Pacu e Pintado) e propiciou um estouro populacional de piranhas nestas represas.Então para se controlar as piranhas se introduziram os tucunarés e corvinas ,também peixes lacustres. Que junto com a Tilapia Nilótica são sa populações destes lagos artificiais. O Tucunaré Azul e Amarelo parecem suportar bem as temperaturas da região Sudeste (10 a 32c) e o clima subtropical. Se reproduzem 2 vezes ao ano. Pelo clima subtropical enganar seus instintos reprodutivos. Os estimulos para reprodução são temperatura e pressaõ coluna de agua (ligado a precipitação pluviométrico). Na região sudeste, no verão temperatura sobe e coluna de agua sobe e no inverno temperatura cai e coluna de agua também!"

ENGLISH

"OK, if Amazonia is the realm of the Giant Peacock Bass (Cichla temensis), then the southeastern region of Brazil with its subtropical climate is the realm of the Blue Peacock (Cichla piquiti). Here it coexists with the Yellow Peacock (Cichla kelberi), although always outnumbering and outweighing them. In this region they reach almost 11 pounds, with the average size around 3 to 6 pounds. They occur in great numbers the entire year round, making for fishing loaded with action!

The peacock bass is native to the Amazon basin and does not occur naturally in the "silver basin" (Rio Parana and Paraguai). Originally, few naturally occuring lagoons existed in this basin and it was dominated by migratory riverine species. However in the decades of the 60's and 70's, hydroelectric dams were constructed in this system, resulting in the formation of many lakes. This extinguished the populations of many migratory species (Dourado,Pacu e Pintado) and precipitated a piranha population boom behind the dams. Therefore, in an effort to control the piranha populations, peacock bass and freshwater drum (croakers) were introduced, themselves lacustrine species. Together with introduced Nile Tilapia, they made up the population of these artificial lakes. Both the Blue and Yellow Peacock Bass appear to tolerate the subtropical temperatures of the Southeastern region (10 to 32 C) well. They reproduce twice each year. The subtropical environment likely overcomes their natural behavior. The reproductive stimuli are water temperature and water level (tied to the region's rainfall). In the southeast's summer, temperature rises along with water level while in the winter temperature falls together with the water column."

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