Subgenus Taddyelia

As opposed to the subgenus Serrasalmus, members of the subgenus Taddyella are characterized by showing a convex outline of the head and body.

Serrasalmus piraya
  Range: Lower Amazon region, Rio Sao Francisco (Brazil).

22-24 teeth along the ventral keel. Maximum length about 50 cm (20 inches), so likely to be the largest species of piranha. The body is extremely stocky and laterally compressed. The head is comparatively large, the domed forehead high. Basic coloration of back and flanks is olive-brown, laterally very iridescent. The lower regions of the body are more orange-red in color. Adult specimens are difficul to distinguish from S. nattereri, except that they possess a tufted, fibrous adipose fin.


Serrasalmus nattereri
  Range: Amazon and Orinoco region, all Guianan countries, as well as the Rio Paraguay and Rio Parana.

28-31 teeth along the ventral keel. The body is stocky and laterally compressed, maximum length 30-32 cm (12-13 inches). The caudal fin is only slightly incised as a rule. In older fish the anal fin sometimes shows a pointed elongation. There is some local variation in the color of the fish. Characteristic, however, is a blue-gray to brownish dorsal coloration, with a paler shade and a silvery luster on the flanks. In fry and juvenile specimens the throat, abdomen, and pectoral, ventral, and anal fins are bright vermilion. This coloration fades with increasing age, however. The anal and caudal fins have a black margin; the rest of the caudal fin is light in color. The species is generally regarded as being very aggressive.


Serrasalmus nigricans
  Range: Amazon and Orinoco region.

25-28 teeth on the ventral keel. Maximum length about 20-25 cm (8-10 inches). The body is similar in shape to that of S. nattereri, but the head and jaws are daintier in build. Juvenile coloration is silvery with numerous black spots. In both young and old specimens, the anal and caudal fins have a black margin, the remainder of the caudal fin being contrastingly light in color. In most specimens the caudal fin is hardly notched at all. The body color of adult specimens is predominantly bluish to brownish gray. Unlike S. nattereri, neither immature nor adult fish show any red on the lower regions of the body or on the fins.


Serrasalmus notatus
  Range: Orinoco, Lago del Guarico, as well as numerous smaller stagnant and flowing waters in Venezuela.

25-29 teeth on the ventral keel. Body stocky and laterally compressed. Powerfully arched frontal/dorsal region. The body color in both immature and adult fish is predominantly silver with a conspicuous black spot on the flanks that fades slightly in old specimens. All the fins are of a light, translucent coloration, and there is no black caudal margin. The tail fin often shows a dark zone below the caudal peduncle and may possess an asymmetrically elongated lower lobe. Whether immature fish are spotted is not known for certain. Throat, opercula, pectoral and ventral fins, parts of the abdomen, and the anterior portion of the anal fin are bright blood-red in color. In old fish this color may grow very much darker or may fade. Jaws and dentition are conspicuously large and powerful. This extremely aggressive species is called caribe colorado and capaburro (colored karibe or "the donkey-skinned one," meaning thick skinned) in Venezuela and is feared above all toward the end of the drought.