Red Bellied Piranha

Picture of Red Belly Piranha

Description of the Red Bellied Piranha

The Red Bellied Piranha has razor sharp teeth and is one of the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world! They have sensors on the side of their bodies which they use to sense and locate prey. Piranhas usually feed on dead or dying crustaceans, fish and worms but they can attack healthy fish and animals and strip their flesh with their razor sharp teeth. Over the years, the movies Piranha, Piranha II, Piranha 3D and the more recent Piranha 3DD portray the piranha as a fish that attacks humans but the red bellied piranha is more likely to attack injured or dying fish.

Picture of a Red Bellied Piranha

Red Bellied Piranha

Facts - Information - Picture - Video

Popular Name: Red Bellied Piranha
Species: Pygocentrus nattereri

Profile of the Red Bellied Piranha

This Profile contains interesting facts and information about the Red Bellied Piranha species.

  • Size:  Up to 33cm in length

  • Fish Tank conditions: PH 5.5 - 7, large tank required

  • Temperament: Best kept in schools of five or less to minimise aggression

  • Diet / Feeding: Tend to feed at dusk and dawn on dying or injured worms, crustaceans and fish but have can also attack healthy animals!

  • Habitat: Freshwater rivers in South America

  • Behaviour: Can be timid in an aquarium setting!

  • Range: Amazon river basin and coastal rivers in north eastern Brazil

Scientific Classification of the Red Bellied Piranha

Definition: Scientific classification, or biological classification, is how biologists group and categorize species of organisms with shared physical characteristics. Scientific classification belongs to the science of taxonomy.

  • Species: Pygocentrus nattereri

  • Popular Names:  Red Bellied Piranha

  • Kingdom: Animalia

  • Phylum: Chordata

  • Class: Actinopterygii

  • Order: Characiformes

  • Family: Characidae

Interesting Facts and Information - How do you identify the sex of a Red Bellied Piranha?

The males and females of many fish species have different colors or different shaped bodies. But there are also other fish species where there is no visible difference. Its sometimes tricky being an ichthyologist!

Interesting Facts and Information - Why are Red Bellied Piranha slimy?

Red Bellied Piranha secrete a type of mucus, or slime, from their skin. This slime provides protection against parasites and infections and helps the Red Bellied Piranha to move through the water faster. Some fish species also release toxins in their slime which ward off enemy attacks. Other fish species use their slime to feed their young.

Interesting Facts and Information - Why do Red Bellied Piranha have gills?

Gills enable the Red Bellied Piranha to breathe. Gills consist of thin sheets of tissue containing blood vessels. As water passes over the gills oxygen is absorbed into the blood stream Carbon dioxide passes out into the water. The gills are protected by a large bony plate called an operculum. Some fish species however have lungs and breathe air.

Interesting Facts and Information - Why do the Red Bellied Piranha have fins?

A fin is an external appendage or "limb" of a fish. Fins are used for directing, stabilizing, or propelling the different fish species in water. Numbers of fins vary between fish species, but there are usually seven. Each of the fins on a fish are designed to perform a specific function:

  • Dorsal fins - The dorsal fin is located on the backs of fishes. The Red Bellied Piranha has Dorsal fins to lend stability in swimming.
     

  • Ventral fins. The ventral fin is located on the pelvic area of fishes. The Red Bellied Piranha has Ventral fins to lend stability in swimming.

  • Caudal fins. The Caudal fin is located on the tail area of fishes. The Red Bellied Piranha Fish has Caudal fins to propel through the water.

  • Pectoral fins. The Pectoral fin is located on the breast area of fishes. The Red Bellied Piranha has Pectoral fins to for locomotion and side to side movement.

Facts about Red Bellied Piranha Fish

  • Piranhas are an omnivorous freshwater fish; they can eat both plants and animals

  • Piranhas have sensors along their body which they use to detect their prey

  • In order to survive, a piranha will feed on another piranha, they are cannibals!

  • Piranhas are attracted by noise, splashing and blood!

 

Red Bellied Piranha

  • Interesting Information about Red Bellied Piranha

  • Facts about Fish Species - Why are Red Bellied Piranha slimy?

  • Why do the Red Bellied Piranha have gills?

  • Facts about Fish Species - Why do the Red Bellied Piranha have fins?

  • Species: Pygocentrus nattereri

Fish Species - Red Bellied Piranha

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