Serrasalmus immaculatus

22. July 2020

In great parts of South America there are large (up to 50 cm) piranhas, which usually become black when they are old. Another common feature of these piranhas is a red iris. It is currently common practice to refer to all these animals as Serrasalmus rhombeus because they are indistinguishable as adult fish. However, young and adolescent specimens look very different, depending on their origin. It is therefore not very likely that all of them are actually S. rhombeus. The “real” S. rhombeus comes from Guyana and is currently not available in the hobby due to the bad export situation of the Guyana countries.

There are some synonyms of S. rhombeus, but only one from the Peruvian Amazon: Serrasalmus immaculatus. This species was described by Cope in 1878 and in 1906 Fowler made a drawing of the type specimen. We have raised young Serrasalmus “rhombeus” from Peru and can now present here a development series documenting the various changes in colouration. These differ considerably from S. rhombeus from Guyana and are an excellent match for S. immaculatus. Therefore we think that it makes more sense to use the name S. immaculatus in future for the “Peru-rhombeus”.

Three specimens of 15-18 cm length from the experiment are now available for sale.

For our customers: the animals have code 292277 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer