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Wimple piranha

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Contents of this page belong to The wimple piranha, Catoprion mento, is a specialized species of piranha that feeds on fish scales.

The wimple piranha is not traditionally considered to be a true piranha; the shape of its teeth and the presence of two rows of teeth (instead of one) on the upper jaw makes it different from the other piranha genera. However, through molecular analysis it was found that this species should be included in the true piranha group if the piranha group is to be monophyletic (see piranha for further discussion).[1]

The wimple piranha is found in the Amazon, Orinoco, Essequibo, and upper Paraguay River basins in South America.[2] This species inhabits clear freshwater streams and lakes with abundant submerged vegetation.[3]

The wimple piranha reaches about 15 centimetres (6.5 in) SL.[2] The curve of its large, banana-shaped lower jaw creates a distinctive protuberance; this gave this fish the specific name mento, which means chin.[3] Its reduced, conical-shaped teeth on the upper jaw project forward when the jaws are closed.[3] The wimple piranha has 62 chromosomes, which is more than average for related fishes (60 chromosomes).[1]

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