This pike cichlid was discovered only in 2002 and described scientifically in 2008. It originates from the lower Ventuari river, the largest tributary of the upper Orinoco in Venezuela. The Ventuari is a clearwater river. Although the Ventuari river is rather good sampled, the describers of that unique species were not able to obtain more than two specimens of Crenicichla zebrina for their scientific research.
Although both the original description and the internet presented so far only pictures of preserved or dying specimens (the pictures illustrating this entrance are so far the only existing ones that show the normal life coloration of the species): we guessed that Crenicichla zebrina should be an extreme beautiful species! Sadly all efforts and expeditions we sponsored to collect this fish failed for more than two years. Either accidents happened or diseases appeared or the weather played dirty tricks on the expedition – we were driven almost to dispair.
But finally we were successful. On March 16th, 2011 six healthy and lively specimens landed in Frankfurt. All of them are extreme beautiful. The fish have a length of about 15 cm up to about 30 cm. They fully reward us for all the sorrow and dispair we had to go through to get them.
For our customers: the fish have code 67405 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Crenicichla: ancient Greek, means “Cichla with a comb”; Cichla is another genus of cichlid. zebrina: latinized after the zebra, due to the striped pattern.
Suggestion of a common name: Firemouth pike cichlid
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer