Designed by 

Frank Magallanes, Adopted August 1993

Founder, Piranha Researcher......Frank Magallanes

Emails are screened for content.


Also for Vietnam Veteran's I have included a link to a memorial near the California/Oregon border.

Please enjoy your visit.

Click to Acess Living Memorial for Veterans.


This fish, S. rhombeus was sent to Frank for donation to Sutherlin Middle School Science Department by George Fear, New Jersey. The fish is now in this department for grade age students to study and learn about piranhas from the Amazon River, South America

A front page News-Review Newspaper (circa 1993) pertaining to the confiscation of piranhas by the Oregon State Police . 

As an extension of his hobby, Frank also creates preserved specimens that are mounted on a plaque.


Below are some examples of this work:





Presently, all material and the HOME PAGE  is being revised with new information and a new look. As most people know who are familiar with this web site, it is a living document that is constantly being revised and changed. Most of the species you will read about are based on my own personal experience and photographs taken are of those specimens both living and now dead. Many of these pages were written in 1994, but not released until 1996 on the world wide web. There are indeed many pages to read and absorb. Just remember, this is a living document and changes occur regularly.


We also have a Piranha Forum that you can visit that is hobbyist oriented. 


This confiscation began the  sequence of events which led Frank Magallanes to fight for legalization of piranhas in Oregon.


Founded in 1994, the not-for-profit, Oregon Piranha and Exotic Fish Exhibit,  OPEFE founder, Frank Magallanes (now retired), has been lecturing at local schools for students interested in piranhas and other similar fishes for a number of years. The exhibit was created to develop and advance people's awareness of the feared piranha and other predatory fishes. 


OPEFE and Frank Magallanes have been featured on many TV News stations for his expertise on piranhas, including National Geographic Explorer. Frank also provided information to the Discovery Channel and Be The Creature on their shows about piranhas. The Elaine Landau "PIRANHAS" book also features photos of OPEFE piranhas and Frank himself. Below are photographs of Frank putting his hand inside the aquarium housing an S. rhombeus in front of live TV news cameras. Even though this species is commonly called a pirambeba it does have razor sharp teeth and powerful musculature. Frank wanted demonstrate (as he has thousands of times) that piranhas and pirambebas don't automatically bite your hand in the aquarium.


Winning in the courts (State of Oregon vs. Magallanes) broadcasted via KOBI-TV Channel 5 News



Filming Urban Piranhas, a National Geographic Explorer Special  

Including a trip to the local grocery market Priceless Foods in Sutherlin, Oregon to buy piranha food off the shelf. David Schleser (Dallas Aquarium) and Richard Conniff (National Geographic) take a swim with piranhas in the large public aquarium.


While the OPEFE closed in 2000 after serving its purpose, its founder continues to help people worldwide in learning about piranhas. Frank continues to keep piranhas and exotic fishes as a hobby. These are some of the live specimens he has kept:

  1. Pygocentrus piraya

  2. Pygocentrus nattereri (Amazonian and Paraguay-Argentina).

  3. Pygopristis denticulata (Venezuela and Brazil).

  4. Pygocentrus cariba

  5. Serrasalmus brandtii

  6. Serrasalmus rhombeus

  7. Serrasalmus maculatus

  8. Serrasalmus geryi

  9. Serrasalmus sanchezi

  10. Serrasalmus irritans

  11. Serrasalmus altuvei

  12. Serrasalmus compressus

  13. Serrasalmus eigenmanni

  14. Serrasalmus serrulatus

  15. Serrasalmus spilopleura

  16. Serrasalmus gibbus (Araguaia)

  17. Serrasalmus sp. CF compressus

Frank also continues to donate dead specimens to Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon) to enable students to view many of these species of piranhas that are not normally seen in the hobby for their studies.


Frank Magallanes providing a  lecture about piranhas at a local  area school. Give a child something to hold on to and their lives will be changed forever!

Frank in front of an aquarium full of piranhas! Nothing has changed in over 40 years!!!


To learn more about Frank and OPEFE click here.






The OPEFE web site and its contents; is disclaimed for purposes of Zoological Nomenclature in accordance with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, Fourth Edition, Article 8.3 and 8.4. No new names or nomenclature changes are available from statements at this web site.


Copyrightę 1994-2012 Oregon Piranha Exotic Fish Exhibit (The OPEFE fish exhibit is permanently CLOSED as of 2000) Sutherlin, Oregon. Information posted on this web site is archival data on fish scientific classifications and other information. DISCLAIMER: The copyrighted material may not be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research. Cited information requires credit and this link All rights reserved. All images shown  (unless otherwise noted) is property of OPEFE. 


website security