The peacock bass is a predatory fish found in the Caribbean, South America, and North America. The common name for this fish is peacock bass or simply “peacock.” Some people confuse the peacock bass with the Oscars (Astronotus Ocellatus) and the gilt-head bream (Bremus Auratus). They all belong to the same family; Cichlidae.
The peacock bass is a native fish of South America, and it is believed that they were introduced to the United States in Florida. The peak of their population was recorded in Florida, but now they can be found in Texas.
Peacock bass is popular among anglers because of their big size and the spectacular colors on their tails. They can reach a length of 30 inches, but some exceptional specimens have been recorded to grow up to 40 inches long. They weigh from 5 pounds to 23 pounds.
The peacock bass is not found in large numbers in many parts of the United States. They are more commonly found in Florida, Texas, and South Carolina. It is said that peacock bass has existed for millions of years, but some scientists believe that they were introduced into this continent about 30 years back. Research shows that the peak of their population was recorded in Lake Worth, Florida.
It is believed that the peacock bass was introduced into this continent through aquarium release. Some people believe that they might have been introduced by accident with live bait shipments to the United States.
There are also some records of their eggs being found in shipments of tautog (Tautoga onitis) and European eels (Anguilla Anguilla). The Department of Natural Resources has identified the peacock bass as an invasive species and a fish that interbreeds with native species.
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Size of Peacock
They are known to grow at a very high rate. The females particularly grow large fairly quickly, peaking in their growth after 2 years. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 1-2 years. They spawn in the spring (February to May). The females lay about 2,000 to 5,000 eggs during one spawning period.
These fish are not very territorial, but they attack other species that invade their territory. They are also known to fight with other members of their species over territories.
They are carnivorous and feed on other fish species like shad, herring, bass, bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), etc. They also eat insects like dragonflies and crickets. The young fish feed on zooplankton, insects, and other invertebrates.
They are usually found in depths of about 12 feet, but they can be seen up to 60 feet deep in the waters of Florida. These fish generally do not go very far from their spawning grounds during their early life. They also stick close to cover when they feel threatened by predators or hunters.
They can be found in shallows and bays close to the shore. They also follow moving objects like boats, barges, and other floating objects.
Peacock bass is known for its dramatic and beautiful bodies that have colors ranging from turquoise to gold, brown, and white spots. The males of this species grow large and colorful tails that they use to attract the females.
These large tails are also used in territorial fights with other male peacock basses. They have a unique way of fighting where they compete to see who can raise their tail higher. The larger peacock bass usually wins these fights.
There Are Some Other Interesting Facts About This Species of Fish That Are as Follows:
The largest peacock bass ever caught weighed 23 pounds. A professional fisherman caught it from North Carolina in the year 2009. In comparison to other species, this is a very large size. The world record for channel catfish weight is 15 pounds, and it’s 25 pounds for flathead catfish.
Many anglers are troubled by peacock bass is not available in many parts of the United States. However, it is believed that they migrate 6 to 30 miles during their spawning season.
They tend to return to their original places after this period. Hence, if you want them in your part of the country, then take some peacock bass eggs and raise them in your aquarium.
The females are larger than the males because they have very large ovaries. It becomes very obvious when you look at their bodies.
The average length of a male peacock bass is about 11 inches, while the average length is about 13 inches. But both males and females tend to grow very fast. The typical lifespan of this species is about 12 years or more.
They are not listed as endangered, which means that if you catch them, they can be eaten by anyone without any problem. It is also legal to import them into your country for recreational purposes only.