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: 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
Main Diagnostic Features: Adipose fin rays absent. Dentition triangular space between premaxillary tooth rows.
Size: Maximum 85 cm standard length.






Scientific Name: Pygocentrus nattereri  Kner, 1858
English Name: Red Piranha, Red-bellied Piranha
Chinese Name: 特氏臀点脂鲤 (Tè shì tún diǎn zhī lǐ), 吃人鱼 (Chī rén yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Piranha
Main Diagnostic Features: Large lower jaw with a single row of serrated incisor-like teeth. 
Size: Maximum 50 cm standard length.