Red Bellied Piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri)

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Red Bellied Piranha

Red-bellied piranha-569.jpg
Red Bellied Piranha

Pygocentrus nattereri

379 Litres (100 US G.)

30.5-40.6cm (12-16 ")




5.5 - 7.5

22 -30 °C (71.6-86°F)

8-12 °d

2:3 M:F

Pellet Foods
Live Foods
Other (See article)

5-10 years



Additional names

Red Bellied Piranha, Redbelly, Red Breasted Piranha, Red Piranha, Common Piranha, Gold Dust Piranha, Yellow King Emperor Piranha, Ternetzi Piranha

Additional scientific names

Serrasalmus nattereri


South America


It is difficult to sex this fish. However, females may appear more robust than males.

Tank compatibility[edit]

This fish needs company of its own kind and should be kept in a shoal. However, they will not tolerate other tank mates and should be kept in a species tank.


Will take most meaty foods including shrimp, fish such as silversides or other fish fillets (Feeder Fish are NOT recommended), mussels, squid, meal worms and insects, as well as pellets and flake.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Likes a large and spacious tank with plenty of open swimming space. Hiding places provided with tall plants would be appreciated. They do not like bright lights so a dim, large and well filtered tank is perfect.


Not a hugely active fish and will often be found hanging in the mid-section of the water. Appreciates company of its own kind and will shoal with other Red Bellies. Are known for their legendary "feeding frenzies." Its bite can inflict serious wounds.


The Red Bellied Piranha gets its common name from the rich red colour found on the belly of this fish stretching from the jaw, through the pectoral fins, to the anal fin. The top half of the fish is a deep silver-brown with iridescence.



Piranha feeding time at London Zoo:

External links[edit]