Subgenus Serrasalmus

Members of this subgenus usually have a concave outline to the head and body.

Serrasalmus rhombeus
  Range:Amazon and Orinoco regions and entire Guyana region.

There are 37-38 teeth on the ventral keel. Reaches a maximum length of 38 cm (17-18 inches). An aggressive species, widely distributed. Juvenile fish show silvery speckles and the fins are light in color and transparent like glass. Adult specimens grow very dark, in some cases completely black, and the shape of the body also alters. The body is strongly compressed laterally, and the snout shows a deep cleft. In profile the head is markedly concave. The palatine bones are covered with a total of 14 small teeth.


Serrasalmus hollandi
  Range: Not known for certain.

A high-backed, compressed species. The back and head are dark gray to olive-green in color, while the upper half of the body look dirty white to silvery and shows a few dark spots. Often there is a dark spot on the shoulder. The fins of immature animals are light, transparent. Old animals become almost totally black. This may be a subspecies or s non m of S. rhombeus.


Serrasalmus spilopleura
  Range: Amazon as far as the La Plata plain, Orinoco region, Lago del Guarico (Venezuela).

29-36 teeth on the ventral keel. Maximum length about 25-30 cm (10-12 inches). A high-backed and very strongly compressed species. lmmatures are silvery with numerous black speckles. With increasing age changes into a dirty indistinctly spotted gray fish. The head looks distinctly concave in profile. Red eyes. A total of ten small palatine teeth. Mouth deeply incised, the lower jaw conspicuously long and powerful with numerous teeth.


Serrasalmus niger
  Range: Guianas.

The body is stocky and high-backed, laterally very strongly compressed. Maximum length about 35 cm (14 inches). In juveniles the body is likely to be light in color, with light, glassy fins. The characteristic blackish gray color of the body and fins does not appear until the fish are old. S. niger is an extremely aggressive species of piranha that is generally feared where it occurs. In the aquarium, the black piranha is said to attack anything that moves.


Serrasalmus elongatus
  Range: Brazil

The "Pike piranha" is a slim species and is primarily an eater of the fins and scales of larger fish as well as entire small fishes. The Pike Piranha is not considered dangerous to man.


Serrasalmus eigenmanni
  Range: Rio Essequibo, Rio Potaro (Guyana region)