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Prochilodus lineatus.jpg
Prochilodus lineatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Superfamily: Anostomoidea
Family: Prochilodontidae


The Prochilodontidae, or flannel-mouthed characins, are a small family of fishes found primarily in the northern half of South America, south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. This family is closely related to the Curimatidae, and in the past they were included in Characidae.

These fish have fleshy lips with rows of small teeth; their lips are able to be extended into a sucking disc. The largest species reach up to 80 cm (31 in) in length, and live in huge schools, making them a popular food fish. They travel upriver to spawn, and make audible grunting noises that have been described as resembling the sound of a motorbike.[1]


The family has around 21 species in three genera:[2]


  1. ^ Weitzman, S.H. & Vari, R.P. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., eds. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 104. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2008). "Prochilodontidae" in FishBase. December 2008 version.