Cichla ocellaris
Bloch and Schneider 1801
Family Cichlidae

Lateral view of butterfly peacock bass
The photo above shows an adult, top, and juvenile, bottom, butterfly peacock bass. These fish are now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection. Top: UF 187364 Bottom: UF 237901 Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The butterfly peacock bass is a member of the cichlid and tilapia family. It has a semi-elongate body, large mouth and a deep notch between the first and second dorsal fins. The body is olive to gold with between three and four black bars on the side. A gold-edged ocellus is present on the caudal fin base but absent in juveniles, and the lateral line is typically continuous, although it can be interrupted. There are between 67 and 82 lateral scales, and the anal fin has three spines. The caudal fin is truncated to slightly rounded. The butterfly peacock bass can be found in large drainage canals, creeks and lakes.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Non-indigenous freshwater
  • Florida Distribution — Peninsula drainages
  • River Drainages — the Everglades
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