Ecology of peacock cichlids (Cichla spp.) in Venezuela

By Winemiller, Kirk O.

Journal of Aquariculture and Aquatic Sciences, v. 9, 2001


" Despite the fact that peacock cichlids (Cichla spp.) are important food and game fishes, little research has been conducted on native fluvial populations in South America. Here I review ecological information obtained for Cichla species based on recent research in Venezuela. Cichla are essentially restricted to waters of high transparency where they often are dominant diurnal piscivores. Within Venezuela, Cichla orinocensis is the most widely distributed species, and up to four species may coexist in certain rivers of the Rio Casiquiare Basin in Amazonia. In Venezuela, Cichla ocellaris is restricted to the Rio Cuyuni Basin, and Cichla cf. monoculus is restricted to the Casiquiare and upper Orinoco Basins. In certain rivers, up to three Cichla species coexist by partitioning available habitats: Cichla intermedia are near structure in the river channel within or near swift current, C. orinocensis in shallow water near the margins of lagoons and slow river reaches, and Cichla temensis in somewhat deeper areas of lagoons and the river channel, often near banks. Cichla orinocensis and C. temensis in blackwater rivers of the Amazon region are larger on average when compared to conspecifics in the savanna (llanos) region of the Orinoco Basin. Nonetheless, conspecifics from diverse locations conform to the same length-weight regression and have similar growth rates. Cichla temensis and C. orinocensis have been successfully introduced into Venezuelan reservoirs, where C. temensis tends to inhabit deeper water "

Classification: Species overview, South America.

Language: English

Name substitutions

Winemiller, Kirk O.. 2001. "Ecology of peacock cichlids (Cichla spp.) in Venezuela". Journal of Aquariculture and Aquatic Sciences. v. 9, (crc05691) (abstract)