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Research Paper | Zoology | India | Volume 4 Issue 12, December 2015
New Record of Exotic Fish Red Bellied Pacu, Piaractus Brachypomus (Cuvier, 1818) From Vellayani Fresh Waterlake, Southwest Coast Of India
Abstract: This paper documents the first record of the occurrence of the exotic South American fish Red Bellied Pacu related to the piranhas, in Vellayani Freshwater Lake at Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala, the southern part of Western Ghats region. The morphological taxonomy revealed that the specimen is Piaractus brachypomus (Machado-Allison 1982, Goulding and Carvalho 1982, Ruiz-Carus and Davis 2003) of the subfamily Serrasalmidae (Pacus and Piranhas) of family Characidae. The preliminary investigation revealed that Pacu, one of the preferred aquarium fishes, might have reached the lake accidently and established a viable population. Though not fierce and deadly like piranhas, the adult pacus being omnivores feeding on fishes, it rings alarm bells of danger to the 42 species of already existing fish populations (Bijukumar et. al, 2013) in Vellayani Lake, the second largest fresh water lake in Kerala.
Keywords: Red bellied pacu, Characidae, Serrasalmidae, Piaractus brachypomus, Vellayani Freshwater Lake
Edition: Volume 4 Issue 12, December 2015,
Pages: 1106 - 1110