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Cichlid, Butterfly Peacock........(Cichla ocellaris)

Discussion in 'Fish Reference Photos' started by DocEsox, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. A little preface here. I have not been to South America (yet) to fish these critters but have caught hundreds in southern Florida. In 1984 Florida stocked two species into their southern waters....the big peacock species, the speckled peacock (cichla temensis) and cichla ocellaris, the "butterfly" peacock. The speckled imports disappeared quickly but the butterflies have done very well. Of course peacocks are not really bass but cichlids, and originally there were only 5 species identified. Currently there are 15 identified peacocks and several as yet unidentified species. Enough taxonomy lessons....but I used to get really confused as the "butterfly" peacocks I saw from Florida looked quite different from the butterflies in South America. Turns out we are calling two different species by the same common name. The butterfly recognized in South America is really cichla orinocensis and is distinguished by rosettes on its side, not bars. Although I just broke down my largest butterfly here I am including a few other pictures to show the variations in color....they can be dramatic....

    This first one is by far the most common pattern and the one usually associated with identification description for cichla ocellaris....

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    Here is one caught by my friend Steve with intense yellow coloration....

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    Here is one with just whacky coloration.....

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    Most of the larger ones, over 4 lbs or so, seem to lose most of the barring on the sides and look like this one.....

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    If anyone wants or needs some other peacock pictures I have a hundred or so in my archives....

    Enjoy......Brian
     
  2. Another Florida peacock...

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