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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Peacock Bass (introduced)

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4




Order : Perciformes
Species : Cichla orinocensis / Cichla temensis
Maximum Length : 62 / 100 cm

Peacock Bass refers to a group of closely related species of fish in the genus Cichla. These fishes are native to South America, including the Orinoco, Negro and Amazon river basins i.e. Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil.

They are predatory in nature, and are likely to feed on smaller native fish species.

Different species bear spots or bars on their flanks, however a common feature to aid in identification is the 'eye' at the base of the tail fin of adults. The largest species, Cichla temensis, may reach lengths of up to 100 cm.

Peacock Bass have been introduced by anglers into water bodies in Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia, where their impact on the local ecosystem is unknown.

Two species have been recorded in Singapore - Cichla orinocensis (Orinoco Peacock Bass) and Cichla temensis (Slender Peacock Bass).

Fig 1 : Adult pair of Cichla orinocensis, measuring between 25 and 30 cm, in a clear forest stream, Singapore.

Fig 2 : A large adult Cichla orinocensis, measuring an estimated 60 cm, eyes a shoal of juvenile Giant Snakehead in one of Singapore's central reservoirs.

Fig 3 : Specimen of estimated 40 cm in length at Macritchie Reservoir, Singapore.

Fig 4 : Typical example of Cichla temensis in one of Singapore's central reservoirs.

Reference :

Baker, N. 2014. Slender peacock bass at Lower Peirce Reservoir. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 294. National University of Singapore.