Piraya Piranha 3.5"-4" (Pygocentrus Piraya)
(FwF Piranha pygo piraya 3)
Piraya, Piraya Piranha, Rio São Francisco Piranha, Black-tailed Piranha.
This species is only found in the Rio São Francisco, Brazil.
It is said that this species can reach up to 60cm. (24"), although there are no records of specimens of this size. In the home aquarium, this rare and expensive species has been grown up to at least 35cm. (14"), but it never reached its full potential size yet.
P. Piraya looks very similar to the other members of its genus: bulldog-like face, high and steep forehead, and powerful lower jaw with very sharp teeth. The large eyes are silvery, with a dark diagonal 'band' for camouflage, and are positioned in front of the head. A feature unique among piranha's, is its tufted adipose fin. The coloration of the face, belly-region, anal and pectoral fins ranges from light yellow to deep red, with all possible colors in between. Another distinctive features that sets it apart from the other two members of the genus Pygocentrus is the fact that the belly coloration flames up, and may even extend to above lateral line.
- Rayed adipose fin.
- Silvery eyes.
- Coloration on the flanks (also known as 'flames') extend above the lateral line.
A well-planted tank will be appreciated, but according to owners of this species, it tends to be less shy than the far more common Red Belly Piranha. The Piraya can be very agressive towards it's own species, but on occasion also to other tankmates. It's attacks seem to be more efficient than other Pygocentrus-species, and when it strikes, the opponent is often left with a large open wound, as opposed to the head-butting, chasing and warning behaviour its relatives exhibit before starting an all-out attack. Perfect water quality is required to achieve maximum growth rate and good health (as with other species), but contrary to what some may think, this species is no more vulnerable to bad water conditions than it's relatives.
Pygocentrus nattereri, Pygocentrus cariba, Pygoncentrus ternetzi, Super Reds.
The same as the other members of the Pygocentrus family: live feeder fish, frozen fish and fish fillets, shrimps, krill and other crustaceans, insects, small mammals, fresh meat (chicken, beef) etc.
The Piraya is the unchallenged king of all Pygocentrus piranha's (and from all carnivorous piranha's, only Serrasalmus Manueli can reach similar sizes), it is one of the biggest piranha's known. The Piraya is very similar in appearance to the Redbelly, with the exeption of a tufted adipose fin, unique to this species only, the more abundant, flame-like coloration on the sides, its massive, far more powerful lower jaw, and its silvery eyes (as opposed to P. Nattereri's red eyes). And it can grow almost twice as large as P. Nattereri.
Because the Piraya only lives in one river (ie. Rio São Francisco), a river where fish catching for the pet industry occurs very infrequently, it is quite a rare sight in home and public aquariums alike. The prices paid for this species are very high (approx. $75-100,- for every 2" in size).
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