August 26, 2015 AmazCitSci

Length Category:  Medium (40-100 cm)

Trophic Level:  Frugivore

Migratory Pattern:  Medium Distance (100-1,000 km)

Spawning Period:  Rising

Export Market:  Regional (in Amazon)

Market Status:  First class

Catch Distribution:

Pirapitinga potential yield was estimated to be approximately 2,150 tons. The Central Amazon region (73%) accounts for most of the catch, followed by the Peruvian Amazon (10%).

Natural History Notes:

Pirapitinga is one of the two largest fruit- and seed-eating characins in the Amazon, and is found in whitewater, blackwater and clearwater rivers. It is a migratory species and schools are easily seen by fishermen because of the fish’s habit of coming to the surface. The pirapitinga was heavily exploited in the late 1960s and early 1970s and today large individuals are rare; the species deserves overexploitation status. Since adults are rare in the central Amazon, most recruitment of larval fish probably comes from the western Amazon. Young are commonly exploited in floodplain lakes of the Central and Lower Amazon regions.

Distribution of pirapitinga catch.

Tambaqui Piaractus brachypomus
Caranha Piaractus brachypomus
Pirapitinga Piaractus brachypomus
Paco Piaractus brachypomus
Cachama-blanca Piaractus brachypomus
Paco Piaractus brachypomus