Piranhas


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Piranhas, pacus, silver dollars and metynnis belong to the Serrasalmidae family. Most members of the family was originally placed under a very large and diverse Characidae family. They are distinguished by their deep, laterally compressed body, and serrated keel running along the belly. They are primarily freshwater fish.

Serrasalmids originate in South America but many species have been introduced into other area by accidental release of aquaculture or aquarium fish specimens. Most serrasalmids other than piranhas are primarily herbivorous.

There are 16 genera and 92 species worldwide. All the species in Malaysian water are accidentally or deliberately introduced.


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Scientific Name: Piaractus brachypomus  (Cuvier, 1818)
English Name: Pirapitinga, Red-bellied Pacu
Chinese Name | 鱼类中文名: 短盖巨脂鲤 (Duǎn gài jù zhī lǐ), 吃人鲳 (Chīrén chāng), 淡水白鲳 (Dànshuǐ bái chāng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Pacu
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาเปคูแดง (Plā pe khū dæng)
Main Identification Features: Adipose fin rays absent. Dentition triangular space between premaxillary tooth rows. Two rows of molariform teeth.
Size: Maximum 85 cm standard length.
Habitat and Ecology: Freshwater pelagic fish native to the Amazon Basin. Occurs in low dissolved oxygen and turbid waters in slow flowing rivers and wetlands. Undergoes seasonal spawning migrations, moving from marginal lagoons and ponds at the beginning of flood season and migrating upstream to spawn in headwaters. Primarily detrivorous and frugivorous, consuming fruits and nuts from a variety of floodplain forest trees during the flood season and are major seed dispersers. Also feeds on insects, fishes, zooplankton, worms, and crustaceans when their main food became scarce.
Remarks: Strong and powerful teeth can cause serious bite injury.






Scientific Name: Pygocentrus nattereri   Kner, 1858
English Name: Red Piranha, Red-bellied Piranha
Chinese Name | 鱼类中文名: 特氏臀点脂鲤 (Tè shì tún diǎn zhī lǐ), 吃人鱼 (Chī rén yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Piranha
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปิรันยาแดง (Plā pirạnyā dæng)
Main Identification Features: Body dorsally silver-gray, ventrally reddish-orange. Dorsal and anal fin without spine. Large lower jaw with a single row of serrated incisor-like teeth.
Size: Maximum 50 cm standard length.
Habitat and Ecology: Freshwater schooling predator native to the Amazon Basin and Parana Basin in South America. Carnivorous, mainly consumes fishes, crustaceans, insects, molluscs, birds, and mammals. Young fish are active during the day while adults are active during dusk and dawn.
Remarks: Sharp and powerful teeth can cause serious bite injury.





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