Scientific Name:
Serrasalmus manueli (Fernadez-Yepez and Ramírez 1967)

Common Names:
Manuel's Piranha. Juveniles are often referred to as Green Tiger Piranha, due to their appearance (see below).

Llanos in Venezuela, Rio Amazonas, Rio Negro.

Maximum Size:
Being one of the largest species of piranha known to man, according to South American natives and fishermen, this fish have reportedly been caught at sizes well over 20" (50cm.). So far, there's little evidence available to back up these claims.
In home aquariums, this fish is a very rare sight, and most fish that have survived the ordeals of shipping are below 8" (this species is notoriously vulnerable during transport, and therefore this species is very exotic and expensive). The largest specimen in captivity are about 13-14" in size, so not even close to their full growth potential.

Body Characteristics:
Juvenile S. manueli are easily recognizable, because they have a number of traits that set them apart from most other species: first of all, their body shape is very elongated, making them fast and agile swimmers. Besides that, thet have a concave headshape, a very long lower jaw, extremely large eyes, and vertical bands running over their greenish tinted flanks (giving young specimen the name Green Tiger Piranha).
When they grow up, the body shape becomes more stocky and high, the bands on the flanks start to disappear, as well as the greenish hue on the flanks. The head shape becomes more convex (more resembling pygocentrus species).
All specimen, juvenile and adult alike (most likely except fry and very small specimen), have red or orange gill plates and a prominent, dark humeral spot. The eye color is orange.
Locality map

Distinctive/unique features:
As juvenile:
• Very elongated body (somewhat comparable to S. elongatus).
• Disproportionally large silvery, later red-orange eyes.
• Tiger stripes on flanks.
• Green hue on flanks.

As adult:
• Pygocentrus-like headshape.
• Flanks silver colored.
• Black, V-shaped tail fin coloration with clear terminal band.

This extremely active species is a very fast and agile swimmer, and therefore needs a spaceous tank. Juveniles and sub-adults can be kept in a tank measuring 40x16". Adult fish need a tank of at least 60x20x20" (and even more for very large specimen, 12" and more - fish that big are extremely rare in captivity however).

15°C 24-30°C 35°C

5.0 5.5-7.5 9.0
 Ideal conditions
 Suitable conditions
 Unsuitable conditions

Compatible Species:
In most cases, this fish will not tolerate other fish in its tank.

This species accepts the same foods as most other piranha's: fish (fillets, frozen fish and live feeders *), shrimp, prawns, mussel, squid and other sea fruits, earth worms, meal worms and other insects, flakes, pellets, granules. Also, nuts, seeds and fruits might be accepted, because they form a substancial part of their diet in the wild.

* Live fish need to be quarantained first, so they are safe to feed (containing no disases or parasites). Goldfish, minnows and other members of the Cyprinid family (Carp-like fish) should be avoided, as these fish contain growth-inhibiting hormones (Thiaminase/Vitamine B1 inhibitors) that could negatively affect the fish's health and development.


Some pictures of Serrasalmus manueli

Sub-adult S. manueli
6" Sub-adult.
Photo by Jonas Hansel

Full-grown specimen (mislabelled as P. cariba)
Full-grown fish, close to 20" in size.
Photo by: Unknown

16-20 inch S. Manueli in a small pool
Small pool filled with mature specimen.
Photo by: Wayne Mah

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