Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Characiformes
(Characins) > Serrasalmidae
(Piranhas and pacus) > Serrasalminae
Etymology: Serrasalmus: Latin, serran, serranus, saw and a fish of genus Serranus + Latin, salmo = salmon (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 5.8 - 7.0; dH range: ? - 10. Tropical; 23°C - 27°C (Ref. 1672)
South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins, north and eastern Guiana Shield rivers, and northeastern Brazilian coastal rivers.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 41.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 36224); max. published weight: 3.0 kg (Ref. 12225)
Occurs in the rapids but is also captured in deep zones of main rivers with the use of fish bait. Is essentially a carnivore, feeds on small fish, crabs, mammals, lizards and coleopteran insects. Its opportunistic behavior allows it to adapt to various biotopes (Ref. 12225). It is timid and not aggressive but it possesses powerful dentition that can cause serious bites, and is therefore, potentially dangerous. Import is prohibited in some areas. However, the incorporation of this species in fish-based house security systems has been proposed (see Ref. 9506).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Jégu, M., 2003. Serrasalminae (Pacus and piranhas). p. 182-196. 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. (Ref. 39031)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01230 (0.00788 - 0.01920), b=3.20 (3.07 - 3.33), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.4 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .