Native Fish Species Of Peru

A mating pair of Cochu's Blue Tetras.
A mating pair of Cochu's Blue Tetras.

Fishing is an important commercial and recreational activity in Peru. The vast water bodies including the Pacific Ocean and Peruvian rivers provide fishing grounds for the fishing enthusiast. Fishing is either done as a sport or as an economic activity in Peru. There are several major fishing spots in Peru including the Amazon Jungle, Andes Mountain, and Humboldt Current of the Pacific Ocean. Aquaculture is also common especially among the communities living around the rivers and other water bodies. Peru and countries sharing the Amazon Basin are home to some of the unique species of fish. Some of the native fish species of Peru are looked at below.

Striped Woodcat

The Striped woodcat, Trachelyopterichthys taeniatus, is a species of driftwood catfish found mainly in the upper reaches of the Amazon River Basin in such countries as Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela. The Striped woodcat fish has an extremely elongated body, shape especially from the anal area. The anal fin is also elongated while the rest of the body is compressed. The fish has no adipose fins while the dorsal fin is placed forward on the body. The base of the fish is colored reddish brown or brown. In their natural habitats, the striped woodcat fish hides in nooks and crannies of submerged wood. The fish feeds mainly on the krill, worms, and meaty food.

Aguja Skate

The Aguja Skate, Bathyraja aguja, belongs to the species of skates in the subfamily Rajidae. The fish species is found mainly in the Southeast Pacific off Peru though the species range is yet to be defined. Very little is known in regards to the biology of the Aguj Skate except for the holotype which was collected in 1904. The holotype collected in Peru was a 480-millimeter-long immature female. The female Aguja Skate lays oviparous paired eggs with horn-like projections on the shell.

Cochu's Blue Tetra

The Cochu's blue tetra, Boehlkea fredcochui, is a species of characin which is found in the Amazon Basin. The Blue tetra is one of the smallest tetras and is kept as a pet fish in the aquarium. The fish grows to a maximum length of 5.5 centimeters and has a pink appearance. The males are thinner than the female but have bolder colors. Blue tetra is kept in groups of five or more depending on the fin nipping and can also get along well with other species in the aquarium. The fish feeds on micro pellet food or flakes and thawed freshwater fish food. Blue tetra has a life span of two to four years.

Small Sanddab

The Small Sanddab, Citharichthys platophrys, belongs to the Sanddab species in the family Paralichthyidae. The species is native to the eastern Pacific Ocean including Gulf of California and Peru. Small Sanddab is a marine fish living in the sandy bottoms of the tropical waters. The fish has both eyes on the left side of its head and grows to around 10 centimeters. Small Sanddab is dull in color, mottled with brown or black. The species is a commercial fish that can also be processed into fish meal.

Redtail Catfish

The Redtail Catfish, Phractocephalus hemioliopterus, is an aquarium fish found mainly in Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela. The fish can grow to a length of 1.8 meters and weight of 80 kilograms. Redtail Catfish is a colorful fish with a brownish back, yellowish side, and red dorsal fins. Both the upper and the lower jaw have a pair of barbells. Redtail Catfish is not eaten in Peru because of the black coloration thus it is mainly kept as a pet.

Native Fish Species Of Peru

Native Fish of PeruScientific Name
Striped WoodcatTrachelyopterichthys taeniatus
Aguja SkateBathyraja aguja
Cochu's Blue TetraBoehlkea fredcochui
Small SanddabCitharichthys platophrys
Redtail CatfishPhractocephalus hemioliopterus
Peruvian Sea CatfishGaleichthys peruvianu
Peruvian AnchovetaEngraulis ringens
Coral Red PencilfishNannostomus mortenthaleri
Upper Amazon DarterKlausewitzia ritae
Schomburg's Armored CatfishLasiancistrus schomburgkii

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