Scientific name: Cernicichla lepidota
Other names: juanita, san pedro
Weight and measures: This specie usually reaches 22 cm in length and rarely exceeds 35 cm long, although there is evidence of specimens larger than 40 cm.
Distribution: It is distributed in the Parana River basin and its tributaries, middle and lower Uruguay River, the Bermejo River Basin in Salta, the Rio de la Plata Basin and also in Paraguay and southern Brazil. It is frequent to see in Iberá marshland, a very attractive spot to fish.
Habitat and life cycle: It is a formidable predator, very aggressive, especially with those of its own kind, and extremely combative when captured. It is characterized by its gregarious instinct and the tendency of being grouped in schools of up to 20 specimens. Once adult, they prefer isolation and move into areas where they can stay for a long time. During spawning season their color is more intense and their belly turns purple. It breeds in spring and spawns over a hard substrate; the eggs and younglings are looked after by both parents.
Appearance: It has an elongated, moderately thick and laterally compressed body. A large terminal mouth slightly tilted upwards with 3 to 4 sets of conical teeth.
Regarding coloration, their back is greenish brown, with a lighter belly. In humeral regions they have a large, irregular and dark spot that could present a golden colored edge during breeding season. In the base of the caudal fin, frequently surrounded by an orange halo, it has a small, sub circular dark spot; and the head has several stripes. For sure it is a very colorful fish.
The male differs from the female by its rounded dorsal fin that presents.
Diet: It is a species with a varied diet that includes insects (larvae of beetles, caddisflies, and dragonflies), prawns, and fish and every kind.