Male peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) seen from the underwater cameraMale peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) attacking the underwater camera

The location of this video shooting is shown with a red arrow

Location on the map

In January of 2007, I joined a three-week expedition in the Beni region of Bolivia which was organized by the Swiss biologist Robert Guggenbühl. It was rainy season in Bolivia. Water levels had risen 6 meters or more.

A pair of peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) on the river shore in Bella Vista (Rio Baures) was one of the most interesting video shootings I could make. The range of visibility is less than 1 meter in most places during the rainy season in these black water rivers. Dark water color plus turbidityin the rainy season… Luckily, at the location where I filmed the peacock bass water was relatively clear.

Peacock bass is the biggest predatory cichlid in Amazon which may grow up to 1 meter. Even the famous oscar fish (Astronotus ocellatus) is food for a peacock bass. The young pair I filmed was but smaller; I guess 60-70 cm.

Snapshots from the video above:

Sight seeing with a motor boat in Bella Vista, 20. Jan 2007These tropical trees are adapted to live in water for several months in the rainy seasonWe arrived to the river shore where we saw the peacock bass.Some fellow travelers are trying to catch fish beside the boatSerious discussion about temperatures: 28 C at 2 meters depth, 30 C on the surface, air 36 CPeacock bass pair seen from the underwater cameraThe river shore where the peacock bass pair laid their eggs
Male peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) seen from above

Tunç Ali Kütükçüoğlu, 13. November 2009, Zürich