English : Red piranha
French : Piranha rouge
Class : Teleostei
Order : Characiformes
Family : Serrasalmidae (sometimes Characidae)
Notes : The original captive population comes from a formerly described species (not recognized anymore) named Pygocentrus altus.
The species can reach a length of 50 cm but generally less. Dark head with large mouth and clear chin. Body is covered with silvery spotted scales. Coloration ranges from dark grey to golden yellow with red area from chin to belly.
Range and habitat
The species occurs in the Amazon and Uruguay river basins in Brazil, Guianas and from Colombia to Bolivia. Lives in freshwater creeks, interconnected ponds and slow-moving rivers.
IUCN RED LIST : NOT LISTED
CITES : Not Listed
Status : The species’ status has yet to be assessed but it has a huge range and remains at least locally common despite overcollection in some areas.
Ex-Situ Programs : None known
Back to “South-American characins” page