occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: Native to the Amazon and Orinoco river basins of South America. Has been collected in Florida but not known to be established there (Robins et al. 1991). Reported from five states--California, Florida, Hawaii (multiple records) , Massachusetts, and Texas (multiple records) (Fuller et al. 1999). All introductions probably represent aquarium releases (Fuller et al. 1999).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Comments: Habitats in North America include rivers, lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and canals (Fuller et al. 1999). Taken in a coastal area in water with a salinity of 10 ppt in Texas (see Fuller et al. 1999).
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Diseases and Parasites
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Colossoma macropomum
No available public DNA sequences.
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Colossoma macropomum
Public Records: 18
Specimens with Barcodes: 19
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
The tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) is a freshwater species of serrasalmid. It is also known by the names black pacu, black-finned pacu, giant pacu, cachama, gamitana, and sometimes as pacu (a name used for several other related species).
It may reach more than 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in total length and 40 kg (88 lb) in total weight.
It is similar in shape to the piranha and is sometimes confused with the carnivorous fish; the tambaqui is tall and laterally compressed with large eyes and a slightly arched back. Body color is basic black to gray with spots and blemishes in its midbody. All the fins are black and the pectoral fins are small. Around 10% of a tambaqui's weight is fat. The world record recognized by IGFA belongs to the Brazilian Jorge Masullo de Aguiar with 32.4 kg (71 lb).
This species is usually solitary. Adults stay in flooded forests during the first five months of flooding, and consume fruits and grains. Young and juveniles live in black waters of flood plains until sexual maturity. The tambaqui feeds on zooplankton, insects, snails, and decaying plants. The species plays an important role in dispersing seeds from fruits.
Relationship to humans
In Thailand, this fish, known locally as pla khu dam (ปลาคู้ดำ), was introduced from Hong Kong and Singapore as part of fish-farming projects, but has adapted to local conditions and thrives in the wild in some areas.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Colossoma macropomum" in FishBase. July 2007 version.
- Cressey, Daniel (2011-03-23). "Fruit-feasting fish fertilize faraway forests". Nature News. Nature Publishing Group. doi:10.1038/news.2011.177. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- Yong, Ed (2011-03-22). "Vegetarian piranhas are the Amazon’s champion gardeners". Discover Magazine blogs. Kalmbach Publishing. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- Anderson, J. T.; Nuttle, T.; Saldaña Rojas, J. S.; Pendergast, T. H.; Flecker, A. S. (2011-03-23). "Extremely long-distance seed dispersal by an overfished Amazonian frugivore". Proc. R. Soc. B (The Royal Society) 278 (1710). doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.0155.
- Colossoma macropomum introduced to Thailand
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Also known as "tambaqui" (see Fuller et al. 1999).
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