Red Belly Piranhas
The scientific name for the species is Pygocentrus nattereri
. The red belly piranha grows up to 30cm long in captivity, and should always be kept in groups of four or more, since this helps distribute the aggression of the species. Two fish will inevitably fight for domination, and eventually you'll lose one of them. Some sources recommend that you keep red-bellied piranhas in even-numbered groups - this is not a widely held view, however. To read more about piranha keeping click here for a great guide for Red Belly Piranha Care
Red belly piranhas have been shown to eat vegetable matter at some stages of their life cycle. For optimal health they need large quantities of meat, though. Smaller baby red belly piranha
search for food during the day and are eager to consume food with energy.
The pygocentrus genus, to which red-bellied piranhas belong (Pygocentrus naterreri), have several key anatomical features that help us distinguish them:
Large individuals have a non-rayed adipose fin, 15-18 branched dorsal fin rays, 6-8 neural spines anterior to the first Pterygiophore
in the dorsal fin, 36-39 vertebrae.
A large dark humeral spot in fish larger than 100mm long for pygocentrus cariba, and numerous body spots but no humeral spot in Pygocentrus nattereri.
Red Belly Piranhas Availibility