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genus Metynnis

Metynnis Cope 1878

Palometa, Spotted Metynnis, Silver dollar,  Vegetarian Piranha and Guaporé Metynnis








Though Metynnis is called a silver dollar, the data (Patterns of Nucleotide Changes in Mitochondrial Ribosomal RNA Genes and Phylogeny of Piranhas 42: 169-182, Orti, et al. 1996) agrees with the Machado-Allison hypothesis that it in fact closely related to the piranhas clade, not the pacus. In fact it is the basal taxa in the Machado-Allison cladogram. Others include; Mylossoma and some of the species of Myleus, but not all. These fish are loosely called vegetarian piranha, a term that really does not fit these species except for its appearance. This group looks similar to Pygopristis denticulata.


The long adipose fin separates this genus from the rest of the serrasalmin. The classification of the species is inconsistent by the number of taxon names assigned to it. One author (E. Ahl) assigned as many as 20 names to the genus. Metynnis species are found throughout much of tropical South America (e.g., in the Orinoco and Amazon basins). The M. lippincottianus-maculatus complex is native to Guaporé and Amazon basin (Géry 1977).


Historically, the genus Metynnis is a complex problem in placement and identification. Myletes maculatus,  Kner 1858:164 [4] [Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien v. 32 (no. 22) Rio Guaporé, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Lectotype: NMW 56396. Paralectotypes: BMNH 1928.1.24.10 [ex NMW] (1); NMW 56408 (1), 56410 (1), 56415 (1). Lectotype selected by Zarske & Géry 1999:176. Appeared in more detail in Kner 1860:26 [18 in separate], Pl. 2 (fig. 5). According to Eschmeyer, Jégu in Reis et al. 2003:190 has confused the original genus of this species with the species appearing on p.166 in Kner 1858. •Valid as Metynnis maculatus (Kner 1858) -- (Ortega & Vari 1986:8. Gómez & Chebez 1996:52. Zarske  and Géry 1999:176. Britski et al. 1999:60.  Lasso et al. 2001:96,Jégu in Reis et al. 2003:184. Valid as Metynnis maculatus (Kner 1858).



1. Metynnis altidorsalis Ahl 1923

North and E. Guiana Shield rivers: French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname


2. Metynnis argenteus Ahl 1923

Tapajós river basin, Brazil


3. Metynnis cuiaba  Pavanelli, Ota & Petry 2009

Upper Rio Paraguay basin, in Cuiabá and Manso river drainages, including lakes (baias) in the Pantanal, Mato Grosso State, Central Brazil.

Species is sexually dimorphic


4. Metynnis fasciatus Ahl 1931

Capiuru river basin in middle Amazon R. drainage, Brazil


5. Metynnis guaporensis Eigenmann 1915

Guaporé river basin: Bolivia (?) and Brazil


6. Metynnis hypsauchen Müller & Troschel 1844

Amazon and Paraguay river. basins and N. Guiana Shield rivers: Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana and Peru

7. Metynnis lippincottianus  Cope 1870

Amazon river basin and NE. Guiana Shield rivers: Brazil and French Guiana


8. Metynnis longispinnis Zarske & Géry, 2008

Casiquiare River drainage, Venezuela


9. Metynnis luna  Cope 1878

Amazon river basin, Peru


10. Metynnis maculatus Kner 1858

Amazon and Paraguay R. basins: Bolivia (?), Brazil, Paraguay (?) and Peru (?)


11. Metynnis mola Eigenmann & Kennedy 1903

Paraguay-Paraná river basin: Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay


12. Metynnis orinocensis  Steindachner 1908

Orinoco river basin, Venezuela

13. Metynnis otuquensis  Ahl 1923

Otuquis river in Paraguay river basin and Paraná river basin: Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay


14. Metynnis polystictus Zarske & Géry, 2008

Upper Zingu River, Brazil









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UPDATED: 12/28/2011