Species: Crenicichla Zebrina
I recently acquired a Crenichla Zebrina from Arowana718 and can't express how much I like this pike. Info on this pike is far and few between with whatever little there is being scattered among several different websites. Their aggression, diet and sexing among other things being shared by few if any who have them. Though Zebrina is a fairly expensive cichlid it has come down in price quite a bit since it first entered the hobby. Hopefully they'll go the way of some other pikes that started off expensive upon introduction and get more reasonable as time goes on and they become more readily available because they truly are a beautiful and interesting fish, at least imho.
Conspecific: N/APersonal Experience: There's little if anything mentioned about Zebrina pike aggression towards conspecifics or other fish. Some sellers claim they're peaceful bottom dwellers but I haven't seen any accounts to back that up. There are videos of them being kept in groups but nothing written that I can find that describes personality and behavior toward tankmates longterm. These videos and vendor experiences can be misleading. When kept in a crowded, barren tank, combined with recent arrival from stressful shipping and you'll often see pikes huddling together even highly aggressive pikes. That being said my own 12 inch or so Zebrina who I believe is a female(more on why I believe she's a she later) has been for the most part peaceful. Currently housed with Pearsei, Heckelli, Argentea and Super King Kong Parrots she has shown aggression mostly toward the SKKP's because one harasses her when ever she crosses to his corner of the tank. Other then that though she has attacked my Pearsei vigorously after being worked up by the SKKP to the point where she had torn their fins and had them hugging the surface. The aggression dissipated fairly quickly and all is peaceful again. My next move when I become brave enough is to try and introduce my Tapajos I pike as well as another Zebrina or two to the tank.
Again there hasn't been much said that I could find on Zebrina eating habits. My Zebrina is currently only eating frozen shrimp stuffed with various cichlid pellets. I'm not sure if they're as avid piscivores as other pikes seeing as mine ignores several 3 inch tankmates. My Tapajos I and Tocantins both of whom are smaller 6-9 inches hunted the same 3 inch tankmates relentlessly.
Again not much has been written about sexing Zebrina, except through ultrasound. Zebrina become sexually mature around approx. 25 cm(9.8 inches). At this time they can be sedated and subjected to ultrasound to determine whether they have ovaries or not. Specimens with ovaries are females and specimens without ovaries are of course males. Here's a video pf the procedure I had originally sourced from reefbuilders made by AquaticsPantaRhei.
Last bit of interesting info. is that I and I think most assume Zebrina to be of the Lugubris group of pikes, which maybe why most just assume they're likely to be aggressive since most Lugubris are. How ever cichlidae.com has them listed as belonging to the Acutirostris group of pikes.
While this is not even close to a comprehensive description of Zebrina I hope it at least makes referencing some info. on Zebrina easier since it compiles info. that is strewn across the internet. I also hope no one takes offense at me using their posts and pictures as I tried to give credit to the sources as best I could. I also welcome others who have Zebrina to share their pics and experiences here so that we may all benefit.