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Serrasalmus maculatus

Kner 1858


Etymology: maculatus: Refers to large spots on the side




From Frank Magallanes


The classification of this species as S. maculatus remains open for scientific discussion. Evidently mistakes were made by Jegu et al., when he misidentified S. eigenmanni for S. spilopleura in his rehabilitation work of Jegu 2001 and Hubert 2007/2010 published the error Jegu made in identification. For the present time the species name is accepted until reviewed by future Systematician. Hobbyists and dealers must remain flexible should this name be revised or reassigned to S. spilopleura as a synonym.


Recently in a discussion with M. Jegu, he identified several species for me as S. maculatus. Included in this identification was one called a Ruby Red Spilo. This one is formally identified as S. maculatus and not S. spilopleura.


Norman (1929) was not able to identify S. maculatus (Kner 1868) from the Rio Guapore specimen. But believes it to be S. spilopleura. Norman maintained that the broad dark (brown or black) margin midway on the caudal fin became broader with age and less intense. In several specimens Norman examined from the Amazon, the band is much more broader extends out almost to of the caudal fin. Where the hinder part of the had been worn away, the fish appears to have a marginal rather submarginal dark band.Occurs in ponds, generally in small groups of up to 20 individuals which appear to have a definite range within a pond or a creek. This does not mean the fish stay together for life, individuals leave and rejoin other groups that closely  match their individualistic traits. This prevents the group from practicing natural selection and removing an undesirable member of their group. So caution is also suggested for the home aquarium if you keep several of these together.


Serrasalmus  maculatus Kner [R.] 1858:166 [6] [Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe v. 32 (no. 22); Rio Guaporé, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Lectotype: NMW 17995. Paralectotypes: BMNH 1928.1.24.10 [ex NMW] (1); ?NMW 57058 (1), NMW 17996 (1). Appeared in more detail in Kner 1860:49 [41 in separate], Pl. 4 (fig. 10). Lectotype designated by Jégu & Santos 2001:129. •Valid as Serrasalmus maculatus Kner 1858 -- (Keith et al. 2000:14, Jégu & Santos 2001:119, Jégu in Reis et al. 2003:191, Mirande 2010:472, Koerber 2011:1). Current status: Valid as Serrasalmus maculatus Kner 1858.


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Copyright. Do not use outside of OPEFE without permission.

Copyright. Do not use outside of OPEFE without permission.

The 3 fish shown above are S. maculatus.




Amazon and Paraguay-Paraná River basin: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.


MAXIMUM SIZE - According to (expect errors).


20.2 cm SL











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UPDATED: 11/14/2014