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The Angler's Guide to Payara

A guide to the different species known as payara, their taxonomy, biology & how to catch them.

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PayaraHydrolycus tatauaia —(Toledo-Piza, 1999)

payara - Hydrolycus tatauaia
Payara: Hydrolycus tatauaia - Photo from Toledo-Piza, 1999 (see below)

As with all members of the genus, H. tatauaia has a laterally compressed body. The greatest body depth occurs between the pectoral and pelvic fins. It's slightly concave head profile and curved predorsal body gives it a humped appearance. In life, H. tatauaia has distinct reddish-orange coloration on its tail.

ID Key: Silvery, elongate body.

Identification Keys
Bars and Markings Colors Size Key Characters Similar Species
Dark elongate blotch behind opercule. Reddish-orange caudal fin. Silvery body, darker along dorsal portion of head and body. Adults: museum specimens up to almost 1/2 meter (18 inches). 102 - 119 lateral
line scales
Hydrolycus armatus
Angler's Summary
Known Range Behavior Notes Habitat Common Names IGFA records
Countries: Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Guyana, Venezuela.

River Basins: Amazon, Madeira, Tapajos, Negro, Branco, Xingu, Orinoco, Essequibo and Rupununi drainages.
If you have information. please contact us: If you have information. please contact us: The scientific name is from the Tupi word meaning "fire tail".  

Fishing Tactics

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Toledo-Piza, M. 2003. Cynodontidae (Cynodotids). p. 234-237. In: R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil.

Toledo-Piza, M., N.A. Menezes and G.M. Santos. 1999. Revision of the Neotropical fish genus Hydrolycus (Ostariophysi: Characiformes: Cynodontidae) with the description of two new species. Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters, 10 (3): 255-280

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