Crenicichla lepidota male

Crenicichla lepidota female

Crenicichla lepidota Heckel, 1840

Group: Saxatilis

Distribution: Extreme southern Amazonia in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern Argentina. Description based on specimen from Rio Guapore. Rio Madeira, Rio Paraguai and Rio Parana drainages. Occurs in the Atlantic coast of Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Type Locality: Rio Guaporé, Mato Grosso, Brazil

Size: 8-10 inches

Comments: Many saxatilis-group pikes are sold under this name but this is the real C. lepidota and is only occasionally seen in the hobby, even though it is a widespread species. Species is noted by its suborbital stripe, cranial profile and golden spangling. Color and degree of spangling vary within its distribution. It is the only Pike in Uruguay with a humeral blotch. As with many widely distributed species, there are various color forms and some of which have been redescribed, such as C. edithae but have later been synonymized with C. lepidota. This is a fairly cold-tolerant species and can be induced to spawn in aquaria with little effort. The pair bond is stable and brood care is fascinating to watch. This is the first species of pike cichlid that spawned under my care and is still one of my favorite Crenicichla species.

Described in: Annalen des Wiener Museums 2; p 429-432

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