Piranha, Red-bellied

Piranha, Red-bellied

Scientific Name: Pygocentrus natterei

Status: Data Deficient

Habitat: These fish are found in the tropical freshwaters of South America.

Diet: Piranhas are carnivore and feed on other fish as well as invertebrates, insects, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Length: Approximately 12 inches

Weight: Up to 7 pounds

Red-bellied piranhas are gray with pronounced black spots at birth and develop their signature red undersides as they reach adulthood. They live in large groups called shoals. Typically, the younger piranhas are found toward the outside of the group and the larger, sexually mature adults are the center. This placement protects the adults from predators while giving the young easy, constant access to food. Piranhas have a reputation for aggressively swarming. In reality these attacks generally happen only if the prey is already injured.

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