Altuvei, Caribe Azul (= Blue Caribe).
It was described from the Rio Orinoco and is restricted to clear waters of Venezuelan Llanos. It is rare in collections and also apparently rare in the wild.
For a map of the distribution of this species, click here.
For a detailed interactive map showing the distribution of all piranha species, visit the Interactive Piranha Map.
Both S. altuvei and S. compressus are very similar in body shape and coloration, but there are measurement differences between them that are faint but sometimes usable to distinguish. Some large adult S. altuvei have faint body spots which are extended forming short vertical stripes, but these are shorter and much less numerous than the vertical stripes of S. hastatus which is dissimilar to the other two ie; S. altuvei and S. compressus. The ventral (side belly) profile of the belly of many specimens of S. compressus ventrally protrudes to a greater extent anteriorly (body wider) than S. altuvei. All of these features are more pronounced in juveniles than in adults. Juvenile pigmentation patterns also separate S. compressus and S. altuvei. Young S. compressus have larger and denser spots that extend more fully over the ventral body and belly than in S. altuvei, where spotting is sparse below the lateral mid-line.
Color of life is similar to that of the others. (ie. S. hastatus and S. compressus).
· Red eyes
· Pattern mainly situated above the lateral line
· Concave head shape
Approx. 20 cm. (8") TL.
Specimen over 15 cm. (6") TL are quite rare in captivity.
Not sexually dimorphic: males and females look similar.
Recommended tank size for an adult specimen is 120x45x50 cm. (48x18x20").
Juvenile specimen can be kept in a smaller tank: minimum 60x30x30 cm. (24x12x12").
Plants, drift wood or rocks provide hiding places, the tank lights should be dimmed.
Heavy filtration required to deal with the large amounts of waste this fish produces. A power head can be added to provide currents.
Dangerous to hands and other extremities. Care is required in handling.
24-29 degrees Celsius (76-84 degrees Fahrenheit).
pH should be between 6.0 - 8.0, ideal is slightly acidic to neutral water: pH 6.5 - 7.2
Soft water is preferred.
None: being a parasitic fin-nipper and very aggressive towards other fish, the Altuvei Piranha should be kept alone.
No instances of captive breeding have been reported as of yet.
Fish (whole, fillet or feeders *), shrimp, cockles, mussels, squid, insects, earth worms, pellets.
Food items such as poultry, mammal meat and organ meat should be fed sparsely: once or twice a month at most. Meat needs to be unseasoned and trimmed of any fat.
On rare occasions this species accepts vegetables, nuts seeds or fruit as well.