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Visiting Dr. Antonio Machado-Allison. The Venezuelan Piranha Expert

By Daniel Caballero

All photos taken by Daniel Caballero, unless otherwise indicated.

May not be used outside of this web site without permission from OPEFE and Daniel Caballero






UPDATE: 7/25/2009: Dr. Antonio Machado-Allison was re-elected Academic Secretary of the Venezuelan Academy of Sciences in 2009. Not only is this man extraordinary, his family has also achieved greatness. His son is now Chief of Residents at Province Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and his grandson finished Elementary School with Honors. He received several diplomas, two of them from the President of the United States for outstanding achievement in academic work and promoting  peace in the world, and several from the State and County District.

The first thing I want to say about professor Antonio Machado-Allison is he is a great person. A sober but very kind person.

On November 23 2006 i enjoyed a 2 hours "tour" through his lab and the Museo de Biología (Museum of Biology) Instituto de Zoología Tropical (Tropical Zoology Institute), Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela.

Copyright. Do not use outside of OPEFE without permission of Antonio Machado-Allison.Dr. Machado-Allison is a biologist (Universidad Central de Venezuela) and Ph. D. (University George Washington and Smithsonian Institution). He is one of the most important researchers on the Instituto de Zoología Tropical, a reputable Biology professor on Universidad Central de Venezuela (Central University of Venezuela) and certainly a piranha expert. He is considered a true expert on animal (fish) biosistematics.  He is also an associated researcher for the Smithsonian Institution, the American Museum of Natural History (New York), Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago), Philadelphia Science Academy and others.He and Prof. William L. Fink described the following piranha species: Pristobrycon maculipinnis (1992), Pristobrycon careospinus (1992), Serrasalmus gouldingi (1992), Serrasalmus neveriensis (1993) and Serrasalmus hastatus (2001). They are working on a new Venezuelan piranha species yet undescribed.

Here are a few pictures of this Venezuelan piranha guru

- Antonio Machado-Allison Fig 1

- Machado and S. irritans Fig 2


- Machado Allison's Lab I: Fig 3

- Metynnis, preparation is clear and stained in glycerin: Fig 4.

The original S. rhombeus image for Los Peces Caribes de Venezuela cover (mammogram image photographed by Dr. W. L. Fink, University of Michigan).

- Original Serrasalmus rhombeus from Los Peces Caribes  Fig. 5

Museo de Biología. Instituto de Zoología Tropical (more than 34,000 jars (lots) of Venezuelan fish specimens in alcohol, including types and



- Museo de Biología I, V, VI Fig: 6a., 6b., 6c.

- Serrasalmus medinai bottle Fig. 7.


I'm very grateful to Dr. Machado-Allison for granting me access to his published material, including great photographs of the holotypes and paratypes of some of the Venezuelan piranha species, for spending his valuable time to give me this tour for his Lab and Museum of Biology and for discussing new (unpublished) data on these fish species with me. It was a great experience I will never forget!


Daniel Caballero

Caracas, Venezuela


November 23, 2006





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UPDATED: 12/04/2015