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Morphallaxis of genus Pygocentrus
(Article first appeared OPEFE Journal of Piranhas and other predatory fishes)

  Issue No. 005-0395 Vol.1 - 1995

With all news images added - September 5, 2000

by Frank Magallanes

Included are 2 new articles on Serrasalmus maculatus and Pygocentrus cariba

 

FROM FRANK MAGALLANES

 

The drawings below were made in 1995 of a Pygocentrus nattereri that was bitten on the dorsum.

 

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

 

Piranhas having amazing recuperative powers and so far to my knowledge, have not been examined by the medical profession for potential medical usage. It is however, my understanding, that some marine fish are being used in experiments for a cure pertaining to muscular dystrophy.

Bites to the fins usually regenerate within a month, while body bites repair much quickly as shown above. It is not unusual to find wild caught piranhas with similar "healed" wounds on body with barely visable circular bites on the flesh. 

 

BODY REPAIR

Below are current images of a new piranha example (same species) bitten on the right flank upper dorsum. I will be updating these images on a weekly basis to follow the progress of the fishes regeneration.

 

PNATTERERI

PNATTERERI

PNATTERERI

PNATTERERI

Top Row:

  1. September 5; the bite damage first appeared. Bite is a circular indentation 9 mm circumference by 1.8 mm deep.

  2. September 8; damaged part beginning to repair itself.

  3. September 11; tissue can been seen very clearly as the wound heals itself.

  4. September 12; tissue is rapidly covering up the muscle area exposed. I expect by this weekend scales should be forming.

PNATTERERI

PNATTERERI

PNATTEREI

PNATTERERI

Bottom Row:

PNATTERERI

 

INFORMATION PUBLISHED

 

At the present time, only two published piranha books have covered this topic of piranha flesh regeneration. Piranhas in the Aquarium (Schulte) and Piranhas Fact and Fiction (Quinn) made vague references to the healing process and included some images. None has actually shown the day by day healing process as illustrated above. Bites to a piranhas body heal rapidly. Only vital organs, adipose fin or loss of an eye is not replaced (a few cases the lenses was bit off and regenerated). I have seen an entire caudal fin bitten off with only the stub of the caudal peduncle remaining and the fish regenerated its fin. That in itself is not usual for fishes, but to see entire body heal itself in such a rapid fashion makes this type of study interesting.

 

In a few reported cases, the belly region was attacked where the anus was removed and the intestines damaged or bit off. The clipped off intestine was regenerated and re-routed to a new opening away from the traditional anus opening, sometimes opened to the side of the fish above the serrae. I hope to find hobbyists photos which show this damage then place photos here.

 


Fin Regeneration of Serrasalmus maculatus

All photos by Jeremy Olson

Written by Jeremy Olson

 

MACULATUS

MACULATUS

MACULATUS

 

I took the first pics on April 14, 2003. He has been really beat on and only in the tank for a few hours when I took this picture. I did water changes around every 3 days or so at 20% and added around 1 tablespoon of salt for every 10 gallons in a 75g tank. The temp was at 84 degrees F.

 

MACULATUS

These present pictures were taken on April 28th, 2003 with fin regeneration nearly complete.

 


Body and Fin Regeneration of Pygocentrus cariba - Nov 25 2002

All photos by Tim Fiesen

by Tim Friesen

CARIBA

CARIBA

CARIBA

November 24/02 is when the healed picture was taken.

 

 

The dorsal and tail are healed, the bite in the back is almost healed, and the anal fin (which i thought would not grow back because of how far the bite was) is coming in. He was in a 10 gallon hospital, with added salt and a temp of 83f. These are amazing fish. I thought for sure he would be pretty deformed, but now he will almost be 100% self-repaired. 

 

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