'Borboleto'—Cichla orinocensis —Humboldt & Valenciennes 1821
Also called "taua" or "borboleta" (meaning butterfly in Portuguese). This nomenclature often causes confusion among Amazon visitors familiar with Florida’s "butterfly peacocks" (transplanted Cichla ocellaris). The species occurs naturally in the Negro, Branco and Orinoco drainages. Attains weights of up to about 12 pounds.
|Bars and Markings||Colors||Size||Key Characters||Similar Species|
|3 distinct, black ocelli ringed with silvery outline in place of three bars Postorbital band (or series of connected blotches on operculum (cheek) not present.||Reproductively active specimens show intensified coloration. Some specimens with a unique reticulated pattern and a reddish cast to their coloration are encountered in certain regions (based on meristic characters, apparently a phenotypic variant of C. orinocensis). Otherwise coloration is fairly consistent between individuals.||Juveniles: up to about 200mm
Adults: from 200mm up to about 500mm (20 inches)
|Depth to length ratio: approx. 30%
Lateral Line Scales: approx. 80
|Most similar to
C. pleiozona C. ocellaris
|Known Range||Behavior Notes||Habitat||Common Names||IGFA records|
|Countries: Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil.
River Basins: Rio Negro, Rio Branco and Rio Orinoco basins.
|Generally when found in waters where C. temensis is present, C. orinocensis tends to occupy shallower, slower waters. Aggressive fry guarders.||Primarily occupies lentic (slow or still water) environments in lagoons, backwaters and shoreline pockets. C. orinocensis relates to blackwater environments.||Borboleto
Similar fishing tactics to C. temensis, although less likely to attack large prop baits, such as woodchoppers. Readily taken on walking stick baits, such as Zara Spooks and on subsurface lures, especially the peacock bass jig. Although normally caught unintentionally by anglers pursuing the larger C. temensis, C. orinocensis can achieve fairly large sizes and has excellent fighting characteristics.