Scientific name: Brycon orbignyanus
Other names: Salmón de río, salmón criollo, pirá pytá, pira pita, pirapitanga, salmonete, piracanjuva.
Weight and measures: the average fish weighs from 300 grams to 2 or 3 kg. Female specimens are larger in size and weight than male, reaching 80 cm long and in weigh 8 kg, while males hardly exceed 60 cm. long and 3.5 kg.
Distribution: It is mainly found in the Parana-Plata Basin (Argentina); however, it also lives in rivers in Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia, as well as in the Amazon River Basin.
Habitat and life cycle: This is a species with migration patterns that annually moves in large schools looking for temperate waters suitable for spawning.
By late spring and early summer Pira Pita begins its descent down the river to reproduce, and once the season is over and temperature begin to fall, they migrate upstream.
This is a fish with external fertilization which does not perform parental care after spawning.
Appareance: This species has a slim body and a great capacity to swim. The head is small, broad and slightly convex, with a large and oblique mouth conformed by a row of small conical teeth; and the gill opening is disproportionate to its head size.
Their bodies are striking because of the combination of the reddish orange fins, the silver colored body with golden sparkles, its dark olive back and its white belly. Its caudal fin is bright red with a crisp black stripe along the middle caudal ray. On addition, each of its scales has a brown or black mole.
Diet: Pira-Pita is an omnivorous fish with a preference for seeds, fruits and other plant parts. Insects and small fish are considered secondary on their diet. As a consequence of deforestation and the deterioration of the river banks this species is nowadays suffering an ecological pressure.