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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Serrasalmidae
Tribe: Piranha
Genus: Pygocentrus
J. P. Müller & Troschel, 1844
Type species
Serrasalmus piraya
G. Cuvier, 1819

Pygocentrus is a genus of the piranha family Serrasalmidae. All species are native to tropical and subtropical South America. All the species are predatory, scavengers and may form large schools. The famous red-bellied piranha, Pygocentrus nattereri, is one of four species in the genus.[1]


There are currently four recognized species in this genus:[1]


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Pygocentrus in FishBase. April 2013 version.
  2. ^ Reis, R. E., S. O. Kullander and C. J. Ferraris, Jr., editors (2003). Check list of the freshwater fishes of South and Central America. CLOFFSCA. EDIPUCRS, Porto Alegre. 2003: i-xi + 1-729
  • Fink, W. 1993. Revision of the piranha genus Pygocentrus (Teleostei, Characiformes). Copeia 3:665-687.
  • Machado-Allison, A. & W. Fink. 1996. Los peces caribes de Venezuela> diagnosis, claves, aspectos ecológicos y evolutivos. Universidad Central de Venezuela, CDCH, (Colección Monografías)Caracas, 149p. ISBN 980-00-0967-1