The Most Popular Freshwater Game Fish in Singapore

By David Ho

David Ho is a keen angler with a passion to study about different species of fish


Today's topic is about this popular freshwater game fish species in Singapore that every angler knows about!

A species so popular in Singapore that anglers address it by it's scientific name and not by it's common name! Amazingly weird!


Here it is:

TEMENSIS / SPECKLED PAVON

Common name : 3-barred Peacock Bass Scientific name : Cichla temensis

It's also commonly known as Slender Pavon, Painted Pavon or Speckled Peacock Bass. All these names refer to this specific species, Cichla temensis.


However, Temensis isn't native to our region! It was previously endemic only to Orinoco river and Rio Negro river of South America but had gone global over the last 2 decades! Via human interventions, of course! Weird as it may sound...


Of so many places beyond it's native range, it thrives and established it's population only in a few handful locations. Singapore is recognized by icthyologists to be the primary country where Temensis established it's population! "Established" in ichthyological term refers to the population is healthy and stable, retaining its natural mechanism of "reproductive isolation "! Meaning the thriving population will tend to mate and spawn only with their own kinds! Hence,retaining their genes in it's most original and purest form!


Temensis is the largest among the 16 known Cichla species recorded! They are huge,they are tenacious and they are here to stay It's already a solid fact. I've already accepted Temensis as part of our Singapore Fishing! I can live with that, can you?


Enjoy their presence instead of whining about how invasive they are and how they destroy our ecosystem by decimating our native species. Singapore didn't have much local gamefish species to begin with in the first place! Even our Belida and Giant Snakehead (Toman) were introduced!

Sometimes, I wonder....how different our fishing community would be if Temensis weren't here in Singapore? Something for us to ponder though ...


Ah yes,I also notice a weird phenomenon among younger anglers in recent years! They like to dismiss Temensis as Peacock Bass! Weird...🤔🤔😖

FYI....Cichla Temensis, Orinoco, Monoculus, Piquiti, Ocellatus etc etc.... They are all Peacock Bass but not all Peacock Bass are Temensis.


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