Crenicichla cf. dorsocellata
Distribution: This specimen was collected in Rio Ribeira. It is occasionally exported from the Campos area in southeastern coastal Brazil.
Size: 8 - 10 inches
Type Locality: Rio Parahyba at Campos, Brazil
Comments: This infrequently imported southern species is often the only member of the lacustris group found in North America. I saw this species offered for sale in 1993 and bought some. I have yet to see it on any importer's list since.
While it was sold to Herr Endisch as C. sp. Rio Ribeira, it is what I believe to be C. dorsocellata. Ploeg does not treat it as a valid species, but rather as a synonym of C. lacustris. This might well be the case. We shall find out when Kullander et al. finally publish the long-awaited revision of the lacustris group pikes. So, in the meantime, I'll call it C. cf. dorsocellata.
Husbandry of this fish is not difficult when it concerns water quality and feeding - they are not particular about either. Aggression, however, is a problem. They are highly aggressive and keeping more than one specimen in a tank less than 4 feet long is next to impossible. A very large tank with a lot of hiding places will be necessary. I was not able to get a compatible pair, so breeding was not a possibility. I do not know if this species has reproduced in captivity.
Females have a distinct, ocellated dorsal fin spot. Both sexes possess a dark pink edging to their unpaired fins. Overall, it is a very interesting fish and a step into the coastal lacustris group but it is not as colorful or as easy to maintain with conspecifics as C. vittata.
Described in: Annals of the Carnegie Museum 7 (3-4); p 355