Facts about the red pirate fish

What is the Definition of Red Pirate Fish?


When you hear the name “pirate fish”, it makes many people shudder. The pirate fish is subject to a lot of mystery, and there are several stories about the small fish’s deadly instincts towards animals but also towards humans. A pirate fish is able to peel the meat of an animal in just a few minutes. However, it is rare that it goes so drastically in reality that it attacks people. The red pirate fish is therefore not completely peaceful.

Facts about the red pirate fish

Location: Fresh water in South America
Life expectancy: 7 to 10 years
Weight: 1 to 3 kilos
Size: 20 to 30 inches long
Food: Insects, fish, small fish and snails
Quantity: Over 200,000
Fun fact: The teeth of the red pirate fish are as sharp as razor blades and can cut through anything.


According to DigoPaul, the red pirate fish is a heavily built fish, which has a length of about 30 centimeters and a weight of about 1 to 3 kilos. The red pirate fish is not red, but instead olive brown on the back, with sides that are light brown. Its body is covered with silvery spots that shine when the sun’s light reflects down on it. The name “the red pirate fish” comes from its belly and the lower part of the fins, which are blood red. Its pectoral fins are therefore reddish while the dorsal and perforated fins are completely black.

The colors of the red pirate fish change with age and habitat. The older the pirate fish gets, the darker spots it gets, and therefore its spots become more and more obvious. In addition, the pirate fish gets more black spots with age, and therefore these spots tell how old the fish is. The red pirate fish is especially known for its mouth and jaws. The jaws are filled with teeth that are triangular and incredibly sharp.


The food of the red pirate fish consists primarily of meat only. It happens that the pirate fish also eats underwater plants, but predominantly the pirate fish is a predatory fish. The menu is very wide and varied. The food can consist of other fish of different sizes, insects and snails. But the small pirate fish can also eat carrion or larger animals that have fallen into the river. It is therefore often referred to as the garbage man of the rivers. The red pirate fish has no problem eating larger animals as its teeth cut through almost all skin, skin and fur.


When the red pirate fish has to breed, it is typically in the rainy season. Before mating takes place, the male and female pirate fish have a mating prelude. This is done by them swimming in a circle while their belly sides touch each other. The female then spawns her eggs in the water, after which the male sprays her semen around the eggs. The eggs are sticky and stick to the aquatic plants nearby. The eggs are very reddish and light up completely in all the greenery down on the seabed. The eggs are guarded during the hatching period, and all fish that come nearby are attacked and chased away. The eggs hatch after 3 to 8 days, and here the children are kept in a kind of kindergarten. After this, the kids can manage on their own after just a few days. .


The red pirate fish is a distinct shoal fish, and therefore lives in smaller or larger flocks. The herd stays mostly in places in the river where the current is not strong. The individual pirate fish as such has no territory, but it does have the flock. The herd guards the place they are in the river with great zeal. Similarly, they are close to each other when hunting. They always hunt in droves and never alone. In addition, young and old fish do not hunt at the same time of day. The larger fish hunt in the morning, late afternoon and early evening, where the smaller fish only hunt for food during the day. The way the herd hunts is by ambushing or chasing their prey.


The family of red pirate fish is large. It belongs to the fish species carp salmon. The carp family counts about 885 different species. About 60 of these species are pirate fish, and the red pirate fish is one of the largest. All the different species of pirate fish live in South America. The red pirate fish lives in South America’s major river systems, including the Amazon River, which flows through countries such as Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Argentina. Pirate fish are only found in freshwater rivers. Since they cannot tolerate salt, they can therefore not be seen in the sea or saltwater lakes.

Travelers’ questions about the red pirate fish

Is the red pirate fish dangerous?

Both yes and no.

The red pirate fish is seen to be the most aggressive of the various species of pirate fish. However, it does not happen to humans.

There are many stories of pirate fish that have gone on to attack people who swam in the river and in just a few minutes have eaten them completely. Or about horses that have had their skin peeled off and become completely clean of meat in a split second. These stories do not fit. Pirate fish only attack if they feel threatened, are extremely hungry or in defense. There is never any general evidence that pirated fish killed people or, for that matter, directly attacked people. It is true that pirate fish have eaten people, but it is in the context of people who had died before. Those people are either drowned or killed by other animals.

The locals who live around the rivers in South America do not fear pirate fish and bathe every single day in the rivers. However, one must keep in mind that pirate fish are not always equally peaceful, and one can therefore not know 100% sure that pirate fish are completely harmless.

Are the red pirate fish’s teeth sharp?

Yes very

The pirate fish’s biggest and best weapon is without a doubt their teeth. Their teeth work like razor blades, and at the same time they have very powerful jaw muscles. In fact, the teeth are so sharp that the locals use the pirate fish as scissors. The very sharp teeth can easily bite a finger or a toe of a human. In general, pirate fish only attack when they are hungry, in an unnatural situation, or feeling sufficiently threatened.

Does the red pirate fish eat its young?

YES, because for a pirate fish, it is not always safe to be with the family.

They have no bad conscience or problems with cannibalism. Cannibalism can happen if there is a great shortage of food, then the adult red pirate fish likes to eat just one of its young, as if it were any other prey. Many of the pups also appear malnourished due to lack of food in the herd, so therefore not all pups survive the first hard days of its new life. For the red pirate fish, nothing stands in the way of a light meal.

Facts about the red pirate fish