Crenicichla adspersa Heckel, 1840
Distribution: Beni, Bolivia.
Size: 12 inches
Comments: These fish were collected in Rio San Martin, Beni, Bolivia. This species is most likely C. adspersa but I have not done a fin and ray count. Sub adults have an orange base color with reddish edges on the unpaired fins. I know the the adult female on the lower photo looks like a different species but she has completed the typical ontogenic color change that the small-scaled lugubris species go thru as they mature. I brought the fish in the upper photograph home in my carry-on back pack, in a Kordon breather bag tied in the shape of a fat banana, with just enough water to keep the fish wet. I also had a small cube of Polyfilter in there to keep the water clean. Ahh...the days when we could carry liquid on board planes - we were young and free back then. Anyway, you should have seen the look on the face of the Bolivian customs dude at the airport when he opened my back pack. Priceless.
The fish settled in nicely in my tank in LA. Unfortunately, a new job (also in LA) increased my daily commute time to about 3 hours and I decided to move closer to work. During the move, I had a friend of mine take care of this fish. I should have known better. I should have given the fish to John Niemans to take care of. I could have. I would have...sigh...anyway, the only C. adspersa in America or possibly in captivity died during its stay at my friends.
Unlike C. sp. Citrus Pike and C. cf. semicincta, this fish was uncommon in its habitat. Jeff caught only one. Ted Muhs, a fellow owner of our El Prado property went back in July 2006 to finish up some paperwork and relax, caught the adult female above. Who knows when we'll be able to get back there and catch more.
Synonym: C. funebris
Type Locality: Rio Guapore, Brasil
Published in: Annalen des Wiener Museums der Naturgeschichte 2; p 421-422