Sunday, April 18, 2010

Facts About Piranha

The name piranha may come from a hybrid language composed of Tupi-Guarani languages; it may be a compound word made of the components 'pirá', meaning 'fish', and 'sanha' or 'ranha', meaning 'tooth'.The piranhas or pirañas are a group of carnivorous freshwater fish living in South American rivers. They belong to five genera of the subfamily of Serrasalminae. They are normally about 15 to 25 cm long (6 to 10 inches), although reportedly individuals have been found up to 40 cm in length. They are known for their sharp teeth are also occasionally found in warm North American rivers and small lakes, but they typically do not survive long.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Subfamily: Serrasalminae
Tribe: Piranha
Species: Serrasalmus spp.
Group Name: School
Length: 20.3-30.5 cm
Weight: 3.5 kg
Lifespan: 25 years
Diet: Omnivore.
Habitat: Rivers of South America.
Age of Sexual Maturity: 18-24 months
Gestation Period: 4-6 weeks
Number of Offspring: 5000 eggs


Red Piranhas
Serrasalmus Nattereri (Red Piranha)
The Serrasalmus nattereri or the red piranha is the piranha that is in most peoples minds when they think of piranhas. This piranha is also the one that is most often found in pet stores. The red piranha is grayish-brown in color with a red-orange color on its under belly and the dorsal area and dark dots on its side. This is one of the smaller of the piranhas , growing to about 10 1/2 inches(27cm) in length.This fish needs special care and is not a good fish for beginners.

Black Piranha
Serrasalmus Niger (Black Piranha)
The serrasalmus niger or black piranha is one of the most aggressive of the piranhas and is rarely found in pet stores. The black piranha is yellow-brown to black in color with golden reflections on the scales.The black piranha also has the characteristic blunt it also has a slight concavity in the profile above the eyes. This piranha grows to 14 inches or more,since there is very little information on the black piranha its maximum length varies. The serrasalmus niger is not normally found in pet stores but some will order the black piranha if you ask. This is not a good fish for beginners.

White Piranha
Serrasalmus Rhombeus
(White Piranha)
The serrasalmus rhombeus grows to be 12-14 inches which puts it near the top as far as large piranhas. This species can be found throughout the Amazon and the Orinico region. The rhombeus is silvery in color , a narrow head , and a flattened body. It has a black stripe that borders its tail fin and characteristic hump behind its head. Because of its small size , the rhombeus is suitable for home aquariums , but it has teeth and is still somewhat of a danger.

The Pacu

The pacu is the close relative of the red piranha. It is mostly a vegetarian but will eat meat if its food source runs low. The pacu grows to about 10 inches in length it is grayish-brown in color with a red-orange color on its under belly and the dorsal area and dark dots on its side.The pacu is a great substitute for those who cannot keep piranhas.

List of foods that piranha eats
1. Beef
2. Chicken
3. Crayfish
4. Cod
5. Eel
6. Earthworms
7. Krill
8. Pellets
9. Salmon
10. Shrimp
11. shall feeders (minnows, pinkies, frogs, etc...)
12. Small insects
13. Squid
14. Smelt
15. Sprats
16. Trout
17. Tuna

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