Red-bellied Piranha [Some Interesting Facts]

Red-bellied Piranha

Red-bellied Piranha, also known as Red Piranha, is a freshwater fish from South America.

It lives in the Amazon, Paraguay, Paraná, Essequibo basins, and some Brazilian rivers.

Red-bellied Piranhas eat insects, worms, crustaceans, and other fish.

They don’t migrate but move around to find good places for breeding and spawning when it rains more.

These fish usually swim together in groups for protection but don’t hunt together often.

Red-bellied Piranhas use sound to communicate and can sometimes be aggressive. People like to keep them in aquariums.

In Matto Grosso, Brazil, they affect where other fish live and what they eat. They are also found in areas with lots of food sources like Rio Machado and Rio Negro.

Adult Red-bellied Piranhas mostly eat during the early morning and evening hours while medium-sized ones (15 to 24 cm long) also feed at night until 10 PM.

Smaller ones (8 to 11 cm) eat mainly during the day. They replace their teeth one side at a time so they can keep eating without stopping.

Their strong teeth can cause serious bites. Also, Red-bellied Piranhas have great hearing abilities and tend to hide before suddenly attacking during daytime hours.

They form hierarchies within their small groups. The flesh of a “piranha caju” contains 8.2% fat, 15% protein, and 4.4% ash according to available information on body composition data.

Red-bellied Piranha Interesting Facts

  • Red-bellied Piranhas are South American freshwater fish, found in Amazon, Paraguay, Paraná basins, and some Brazilian rivers.
  • They eat insects, worms, crustaceans, and other fish. Feeding habits vary depending on their size and time of day.
  • Communication occurs through sound; they can be aggressive and form hierarchies within their groups.
  • Males and females look similar. Reproduction involves laying eggs on underwater tree roots that hatch in 9 to 10 days.

Red-bellied Piranha Habitat

Red-bellied Piranha is found in South America, mainly in the Amazon River basin, Paraguay-Paraná River basin, northeastern Brazilian coastal rivers, and Essequibo River basin.

It has also been reported in the Uruguay River in Brazil. This fish lives in freshwater environments and swims near the surface of the water.

It prefers slightly acidic to neutral water (pH of 5.5 to 7.5) with a hardness level of up to 20 dH.

Red-bellied Piranha likes temperatures between 74°F to 81°F (23°C to 27°C). It’s found living in subtropical regions between latitudes of 9°N to 34°S.

Water Temperature:74°F to 81°F (23°C to 27°C)
Water pH:5.5 to 7.5 pH
Water Hardness:Unknown

Red-bellied Piranha Physical Characteristics

Size: 19.7 inches (50 centimeters)

Red-bellied Piranha grows up to 19.7 inches (50 centimeters) long. The heaviest recorded weight is 3.9 kg.

This fish has no dorsal spines but has 16 to 18 dorsal soft rays. Additionally, it has no anal spines and possesses 27 to 30 anal soft rays.

Male and female Red-bellied Piranhas look similar.

In a related species found in the Orinoco basin (Venezuela, Guyana), males have bigger heads but slimmer bodies than females.

Red-bellied Piranha Reproduction

Red-bellied Piranhas lay eggs on underwater tree roots, protecting them from harm.

However, successful reproduction varies each year based on flooding patterns in the savanna.

The large eggs stick to plants and don’t get eaten by the parent fish. After about 9 to 10 days, the eggs hatch into baby piranhas.

Red-bellied Piranha Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Pygocentrus nattereri
Also Known As:Red-bellied Piranha, Red Piranha
Conservation Status:Unknown

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