Pike Cichlid finally gets a name

Drawing of Wallace’s Pike Cichlid c.1852.

Drawing of Wallace’s Pike Cichlid c.1852.

Originally collected in 1852, Wallace’s Pike Cichlid died during transport to England. It wasn’t until 160 years later that the specimen collected in the upper Rio Negro was identified from its drawings. The new species name of the 160 year-old mystery is Crenicichla monicae. The drawings were matched to 3 specimens collected by the Swedish Amazonas Expedition in 1923–1925. Unfortunately, the publication with more information is behind a paywall at BioOne.org.

Pike cichlid is a common term to describe fish belonging to the genus Crenicichla. Species of Crenicichla range in size from 3 inches all the way to the 20 inches. Crenicichla are predators with a large mouth and elongated body. They make their home in rivers, steams and lakes in South America. The library has several articles on Crenicichla, but for those looking for more information on the genus, check out the Introduction to Pike Cichlids article by Vinny Kutty.

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