Monocirrhus polyacanthus - Amazon Leaffish
Description of the species of Monocirrhus polyacanthus:
Monocirrhus polyacanthus Heckel, 1840
Leaffish is a species native to the Amazon basin that inhabits lentic environments of dark waters rich in humic and tannic acids produced by the large amount of decaying logs and leaves that fall into the river. They have a protractile mouth that assists in the capture of prey, feeding mainly on fish and crustaceans.
Leaffish has the appearance and behavior of a fallen leaf floating.
It has a coloration that varies from intense yellow to dark brown, and uses its shape and body posture similar to that of dry leaves, as camouflage and protection against predators, and to capture its prey.
This mimetic fish, has an outgrowth of the lower lip that looks like a leaf petiole, moves by means of transparent fins, and along the way it devours prey with its huge mouth.
Monocirrhus polyacanthus does not have the behavior of group fish, so it can be raised in groups or individually. As it is a predator, it should be raised with fish larger than the mouth opening and when in captivity, it is important that the aquarium has shelters and substrates such as submerged leaves, plants, trunks and branches, to provide an environment more suited to its behavior to camouflage yourself.
In its natural environment, live food causes vibrations in the water that serve as an attraction to leaffish. Their food in the aquarium is live bait, for example: shrimp or little fishes.
Polycentridae is a small family of Acanthopterygii, formed by only four valid genera, all monotypic: Africans Afronandus and Polycentropsis, and South Americans Monocirrhus and Polycentrus.
Monocirrhus can be easily distinguished from Polycentrus by the presence of a mandibular filament and by the caudal fin almost entirely covered with scales. In addition, the Monocirrhus has the edge of the lacrimal and pre-opercular bone smooth, while the Polycentrus has saws on the ventral edge of the lacrimal and pre-opercular. These species are small, usually reaching up to 9 cm in length.
In Monocirrhus polyacanthus, the absence of a lateral line, the extremely large and protactable mouth, the filament in the lower jaw that resembles a leaf petiole, the shape of the body (compressed and lozenge), the manner and the habit of swimming (inclined and drift) and the pattern of the colorful color goes from brownish to black, provide these fish with the ability to mimic a dead leaf adrift and be a master of stealth behavior.
Monocirrhus polyacanthus Heckel, 1840
According to FISHBASE:
Kingdom = Animalia ; Phylum = Chordata ; Class = Actinopterygii ; Order = Perciformes ; Family = Polycentridae ; Genus = Monocirrhus.
Distribution: South America: Amazon River basin in Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, and Venezuela.
Size - Maximum Length: 8,0 cm.
Synonyms: Monocirrhus polyacanthus, Monocirrhus mimophyllus.
Common name of Monocirrhus polyacanthus: Peixe-folha; Pirá-cará(Brasil), South American Leaf Fish, Amazon leaffish (EUA).
Reference: Britz, R. and S.O. Kullander, 2002. Polycentridae (Leaffishes). p. 603-604. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil.
FISHBASE = https://www.fishbase.de/summary//Monocirrhus-polyacanthus
INSTRUÇÃO NORMATIVA INTERMINISTERIAL N°1, DE 3 DE JANEIRO DE 2012. Diário Oficial da União – Seção I, Nº3, quarta-feira, 4 de janeiro de 2012, páginas 26 a 42 – ISSN 1677-7042 INI MPA-MMA (n01-2012 - Peixes Ornamentais Continentais.pdf)
Kullander, S.O., 2003. Cichlidae (Cichlids). p. 605-654. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil.
Ohara, W. M., Lima, F. C. T., Salvador, G. N., Andrade, M. C. 2017. Peixes do rio Teles Pires: Diversidade e Guia de Identificação. Goiânia: Gráfica e Editora Amazonas, 2017. 404p.
Queiroz, L. J.; Vilara, G. T.; Ohara, W. M.; Pires, T. H. S.; Zuanon, J.; Doria, C. R. C. Peixes do Rio Madeira. São Paulo. Vol.3. 2013.
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Na Amazônia, do século XIX, devido à cobiça pela borracha, Wawatu, cunhatã do clã Aruak, tem sua aldeia dizimada por brancos. Apesar de ser forçada a viajar para um local desconhecido, casar-se com guerreiro de origem Karib e sofrer com as diferenças de costumes de seus familiares, ela se apaixona.