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Piaractus mesopotamicus

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Piaractus mesopotamicus
A group near Bonito, Brazil
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Serrasalmidae
Genus: Piaractus
P. mesopotamicus
Binomial name
Piaractus mesopotamicus
(Holmberg, 1887)[2]

Myletes edulis
Myletes mesopotamicus
Colossoma mitrei
Colossoma canterai
Colossoma mesopotamicus

Piaractus mesopotamicus, the small-scaled pacu, Paraná River pacu or simply pacu (a name shared with other species), is a South American ray-finned fish that is native to the Paraguay-Paraná River basin,[3][4] but it has been introduced by aquaculture activities in a wider area.[5] In its native range it is also known as the pacú chato, pez chato ("flat fish") or mbiraí-piraí.[6]

Piaractus mesopotamicus is a robust fish, with ovoid shape, flattened laterally. Its colour is dark grey to silver, with a white belly and a yellow breast.[3] It reaches up to 62 cm (2.03 ft) in length[5] and 20 kg (44 lb) in weight.[3] The other member of its genus, P. brachypomus, can be distinguished by its larger scale-size[7] and the lower number of lateral scales (less than 110).[8]

Piaractus mesopotamicus is an omnivore.[5] Young individuals usually feed on micro-crustaceans, while adults feed on plant material and insects.[5] Main food items for adults are nuts and seeds that fall from trees in flooded forests.[3] It tolerates water temperatures between 15 and 35 °C (59–95 °F), but stops feeding when it falls below 18 °C (64 °F).[5]


  1. ^ Brejão, G.L. (2023). "Piaractus mesopotamicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2023: e.T186593A1815452. Retrieved 16 December 2023.
  2. ^ "Piaractus mesopotamicus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 24 January 2006.
  3. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2017). "Piaractus mesopotamicus" in FishBase. March 2017 version.
  4. ^ Nico, L.; and B. Loftus (7 October 2012). Piaractus mesopotamicus. USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e A. A. Agostinho, L. C. Gomes, H. I. Suzuki, H. Ferreira Júlio Jr: Migratory fishes of the Upper Paraná River basin, Brazil. Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura (Nupelia). Universidade Estadual de Maringá. Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.
  6. ^ Mulca, P. (26 April 2013). Piaractus mesopotamicus. PezAdicto Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  7. ^ OPEFE (27 December 2011). genus Piaractus. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  8. ^ Nico, L.; P. Fuller; and M. Neilson (22 October 2013). Piaractus brachypomus. USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Retrieved 2 March 2017.