The pikehead, Luciocephalus pulcher, is a highly specialized anabantoid, a relative of the chocolate gouramies. Like the latter the pikehead is a mouthbrooder. Luciocephalus is the only true predator among the various anabantoids; in its natural habitat it feeds preferably on shrimps. The calm, beautiful animal (Latin pulcher = beautiful) would for sure be a favorite aquarium fish despite it is always hungry, but there is a big problem: Luciocephalus is among the most sensitive fish at all. This is why we are very glad that our most current importation of the fish is absolutely problem-free. We obtained the adult, about 11-13 cm long pikeheads via Singapore. Sadly we don´t know the collecting site, for our pikeheads are not only extraordinary healthy but also extraordinary coloured.
Usually the pikehead has a broad, horizantal brown band along the flanks. Only when the fish are under distress or during mating this band vanishes and irregular spots are visible. Our new importations shows this spotted pattern now since they arrived 10 days ago. We have no satisfying explanation for the phenomenon, maybe currently is the breeding season for pikeheads?
For our customers: the fish have code 424904 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer