Crenicichla lenticulata male

Crenicichla lenticulata Heckel, 1840

Group: Lugubris

Distribution: Primarily Rio Negro but also found in Rio Amazonas downstream from Manaus, Rio Branco and also Rio Essequibo system in Guyana. Tributaries of Rio Orinoco also possess a geographic variant of this species.

Type Locality: Rio Negro at Marabitanos, Brazil

Size: 12-14 inches

Comments: This is a closely related species to C. marmorata, possibly the nearest relative. They are the only two species that may be confused for the other as adults. The primary distinguishing features between the two species are the numerous facial spots on C. lenticulata which often extens well into the dorsal region and the black rectangular blotches along the sides - in C. lenticulata, the black marking and the light bordering spaces between them extend all the way to the dorsal fin base whereas in C. marmorata, the blotches do not extend that high. I acquired a group of juvenile C. lenticulata a few years ago while living in Florida but an unexpected cold spell killed them all. They seemed to have less prominent horizontal lines on the body as juveniles compared to other members of the lugubris group, an observation shared by Frank Warzel. Warzel also reports that breeding pairs lack the black spots on the head. Whatever the case may be, females of this species may be one of the most colorful members of Crenicichla.

Described in: Annalen des Wiener Museums 2; p 419-421

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