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Castelnau's Piranha

Serrasalmus gibbus

Castelnau, 1855

(Caribe dorado/Palometa/Pirambeba)

 

 

 

 

 

FROM FRANK MAGALLANES

 

Presently there is no information on the proper care of this species. It is therefore recommended keeping as solitary species in home aquarium. S. gibbus is a close appearing to S. rhombeus, so its care would likely not differ much. The species S. gibbus is based on a single drawn plate and approximately four lines of description (see image above). The holotype was lost during WWII and there are no paratypes of this species to collaborate its actual existence. In a review of TFH books that pertain to piranhas, it is noted that the following book (s) are using wrong descriptions and photos of S. gibbus. Of interest, long after I wrote these remarks, I found it intriguing that the holotype, considered lost  might actually exist. I base this on the following remarks by Michel Jégu as cited "We were able to compare our specimens to the holotype of S. gibbus (MNHN A4648), an example which was dry and stuffed with straw." John R. Quinn Piranhas Fact and Fiction TS-172 pg. 100 and 101. The fish is actually S. maculatus. Pg. 102 shows an adult captioned as S. calmoni, but is actually S. maculatus as well. Dr. Michel Jégu, is uncertain of this elongated type of Serrasalmus. He presently is working on other species of S. rhombeus but not S. gibbus at the present time.

 

The specimens that are presently being imported to the aquarium trade as S. gibbus do present a similar appearance to the description by Castelnau. But so do other forms of piranha, such as S. elongatus. The name S. gibbus is available should any of the catalogued specimens be considered that species. But just as likely the species that hobbyist are calling S. gibbus and Dr. Jégu thought looked similar to his drawings could simply be a morphotype of S. rhombeus. Like the S. rhombeus, this fish possesses the distinctive red-eye when adult. One must be very careful in knowing where the fish was collected from. S. gibbus is not known from Peru. I bring this up because I have noted that some dealers and internet sites are captioning that S. gibbus is from Peru. Not so, it is from Brazil! The Peru specimens present somewhat of an elongated body, but those are considered S. rhombeus and most have a very black broad terminal band, while the basal region is not so dark almost hyaline in a few cases, particularly young ones.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Original Scientific Citation

Cette espèce a été confondue jusqu'ici àvec la précédente. Elle s'en distingue par sa forme plus allongéee, moins haute mais plus bombéee derrière la tête; par ses dents inférieures plus grandes, plus larges, et ayant chacune un tubercule latéral; la couleur de la partie inférieure de la tête et du ventre est plus orangéee. Les nageoires dorsale et caudale sont d'un gris de fer, bordées en arrière de noir; l'anale est grise avec sa base verte.

 

Ce poisson est désigné dans l'Araguay, où je l'ai observé , sous le nom de Piranha branca. C'est peut-ê la troisième espè de Piraya de Margrave. (Francis Castelnau, 1855).

 

 

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Image property of Jason Bolin. Permission granted OPEFE use.

AQUARIUM REPRESENTATIVES OF Serrasalmus gibbus

 

Translation

No. 2 Serrasalmus gibbus
Plate XXXVIII (means 38 in Roman numerals) Figure 1

This species was previously confused with the previous one. It is distinguished by its more elongated, but less high curved back of the head, its lower teeth larger, wider, and each having a lateral tubercle. The color of the lower part of the head and the belly is orange. dorsal and caudal fins are of an iron-gray, edged behind with black. Anal fin is gray with green base. This fish is named in the Araguaia, and I observed as the piranha branca. Maybe the three species of Piraya of Margrave.

 

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FIELD IMAGE OF A YOUNG Serrasalmus gibbus

 

Jégu revisited Castelnau description is based on one of these fishes captured. One can immediately see this fish looks like a juvenile S. rhombeus, yet some morphometric measurements and other attributes place this fish close to the Castelnau fish, though the locality of S. gibbus is vague based on the description. With this in mind hobbyists are reminded to not jump to conclusions on any S. rhombeus-type such as this one to conclude they have S. gibbusS. gibbus remains uncertain in the scientific world.

 

 

 

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Map and Jégu Citation Drawings of Serrasalmus gibbus

 

Jégu Description - French

 

Serrasalmus gibbus est décrit de l'Araguaia (Goiás, Brésil) par Castelnau (1855). Nous avons pu comparer nos spécimens à l'holotype de S. gibbus (MNHN A4648), exemplaire sec empaillé. Les caractéristiques méristiques et morphologiques de notre maté correspondent bien à ce que l'on observe chez le type (tabl. VI). La différence observée pour la hauteur du coprs (2,6 fois chez les spécimens du Tocantins) est due au mode de préservation du type, une couture ayant endommagé la partie ventrale du poisson. D'autre part, on retrouve bien chez le type, le profil prédorsal retiligne, presque horizontal en arrière du processus post-occipal, que nous avions signalé pour le matériel du bas Tocantins. Géry (1979), signale 5 spécimens de S. gibbus dans le rio das Mortes, affluent du haut Araguaia. Les caractéristiques de ce matériel, présentées par Géry (1979), ne diffèrent de celles des spécimens du bas par l'oeil qui semble plus petit dans l'Araguaia (4, 45 à 5 fois dans la tête contgre 3,0 à 4,5 fois dans le bas Tocantins). Nous avons pu consulter le spécimen, récolté par Castelnau dans l'Araguaia (MNHN A8645) et rapporté à S. aureus par Valenciennes (1849). Ce poisson ne présente pas de lacune à la joue et son profil dorsal est presque horizontal. C'est un grand spécimen (312 mm LS), allongé (hauteur 2,2 fois dans LS), qui doit être rapporté à S. gibbus.

 

S. gibbus a longtemps été considéré comme synonyme de S. elongatus Kner (Eigenmann, 1915) ou de S. rhombeus (L.) (Norman, 1929).

 

Les mesures que nous avons pu prendre sur des spécimens de S. elongatus de 149 à 218 mm de LS, provenant du rio Mamoré (Béni, Bolivie), confirment que cette espéce a le corps nettement plus allongé (2,2 à 2,4 fois dans la LS contre 1,9 à 2,2 fois pour S. gibbus de même taille) et les mâchoires plus étroites (largeur de la mâchoire inférieure 50 à 70% de sa laongueur contre 60 à 100% chez S. gibbus). S. elongatus et S. gibbus sont donc bien deux espéces différentes, comme l'a montré Géry (1979). Si S. elongatus semble présent dans une large partie du bassin amazonien, comme nous avons pu le vérifier nous-mêmes dans les rios Negro, Madeira et Mamoré, Uatumá, Trombetas et en Basse Amazonie, il n'a jamais été signalé du bassin du Tocantins. Il semble donc que les deux espèces soient strictement allopatriques, puisque, au niveau actuel de nos connaissances, S. gibbus n'est connu que du bassin du Tocantins.

 

Comme le fait justement remarquer Géry (1979) << la confusion avec S. rhombeus est plus compréhensible>>, tant les deux espéces sont proches. Mais S. gibbus se distingue de S. rhombeus par l'allongement du corps (fig. 8) et la largeur de l'espace interorbitaire (fig. 10). D'autre part, S. gibbus présente un plus grand nombre d'écailles en ligne latérale, de séries d'écailles au-dessus et au-dessous de la ligne latérale, de rayons aux nageoires pectorale et dorsale que S. rhombeus (tabl. VIII). Le profil prédorsal est beaucoup plus bombé chez S. rhombeus que chez S. gibbus où il est presque rectiligne juste en avant de la dorsale (pl. IX et X, fig. 1 à 3).

 

In vivo, S. gibbus présente une teinte jaune foncé à orangé sur le ventre alors que S. rhombeus est jaune clair. Nous avons pu observe que ces différences n'étaient pas liées au sexe car nous avons relevé des mâles et des femelles chez les deux espéces. Il ne fait donc aucun doute que S. gibbus est une espéce valide, différente de S. rhombeus.

 

Jégu Description - English

 

Serrasalmus gibbus is described Araguaia (Goiás, Brazil) by Castelnau (1855). We were able to compare our specimens to the holotype of S. gibbus (MNHN A4648), an example which was dry and stuffed with straw. The characteristic meristics and morphology of our preserved one correspond well to with the type seen (tabl. VI). The observed difference for the height of the body (2.6 times with the specimens of the Tocantins) had to do with the preservation method of the type, a sewing having damaged the ventral party of the fish. On the other hand, one rediscovers well with the type, the profile predorsal spine, almost horizontal behind of the process post-occipital, that we had discovered for bottom types of the Tocantins. Géry (1979), described 5 specimens of S. gibbus in the rio das Mortes, flow high Araguaia. The characteristics of this type, presented by Géry (1979), do not differ of the one of the bottom specimens by the eye that seems smaller in the Araguaia (4, 45 to 5 times in the head slope 3,0 to 4,5 times in the low Tocantins). We were able to consult the specimen, harvested by Castelnau in the Araguaia (MNHN A8645) and retrieved to S. aureus by Valenciennes (1849). This fish does not present any gap to the cheek and his back profile is almost horizontal. This a big specimen (312 mm SL), lengthened (height 2,2 times in SL), that must be retrieved to S. gibbus

 

S. gibbus a long time was considered as synonym of S. elongatus Kner (Eigenmann, 1915) or of S. rhombeus (L.) (Norman, 1929). 

 

The measures that we were able to take on specimens of S. elongatus of 149 to 218 mm of SL, originating rio Mamoré (Blessed, Bolivie), confirm that this species has the body clearly more lengthened (2,2 to 2,4 times in the SL against 1,9 to 2,2 times for S. gibbus of even sizes) and the NARROWER cheek (width of the inferior cheek 50 to 70% of his 60 to 100% with S. gibbus). S. elongatus and S. gibbus are therefore well two different species, as showed by Géry (1979). If S. elongatus seems present in a wide parts of the pool Amazonia, as we were able to verify it ourselves in the rios Negro, Madeira and Mamoré, Uatumá, Trombetas and down below Amazonia, it never was described from the rio Tocantins. It seems therefore that the two types strictly be allopatrics, since, at the current level of our knowledge, S. gibbus is known only from rio Tocantins. 

 

As  Géry noticed exactly; (1979) << la confusion avec S. rhombeus est plus compréhensible>>, So the two especes are close in appearance. But S. gibbus distinguishes itself from S. rhombeus by the lengthening of the body (fig. 8) and the width of the space interorbital (fig. 10). On the other hand, S. gibbus presents a bigger number of scales in lateral line, of series of scales above and to the under lateral line, of rays to the pectoral and dorsal back than S. rhombeus (tabl. VIII). The profile predorsal a lot more convex one with S. rhombeus than with S. gibbus where it is almost just rectilinear forward of the back one (pl. IX and X'S, fig. 1 to 3). 

 

COLOR OF LIFE

 

In life, S. gibbus presents a yellow complexion dark to orange on the stomach while S. rhombeus is yellow clear. We have been able observes that these differences were not linked to the sexual dimorphism of  males and female with the two species. It is certain that S. gibbus is a valid species, different from S. rhombeus.

 

DISTRIBUTION

 

Tocantins river basin, Brazil.

 

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REFERENCES 

 

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UPDATED: 12/26/2011