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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 wallacei —(Toledo-Piza, 1999)

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

As with all members of the genus Hydrolycus, H. wallacei has a laterally compressed body. The greatest body depth occurs from the pectoral fin base and extends vertically. Body depth decreases posteriorly. Unlike other members of the genus, it has relatively smaller canines on the lower jaw and relatively larger scales along the lateral line.

ID Key: Silvery, elongate body. Large pectoral fins, fleshy adipose fin and no scales on anal fin rays.

Identification Keys
Bars and Markings Colors Size Key Characters Similar Species
Vertically elongate dark blotch on lateral surface of body. All fins black. Body and head coloration dark, more silvery on anterior portion of body. Adults: Museum specimens up to 335mm (about 14 inches) ateral line scales
approx. 95
H. tatauaia,
H. scomberoides
Angler's Summary
Known Range Behavior Notes Habitat Common Names IGFA records
Countries: Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela.

River Basins: Rio Negro, Rio Orinoco and Rio Casiquiare drainages.
If you have information. please contact us: If you have information. please contact us: Scientific name given after A. R. Wallace, an early Amazon explorer from the mid-1800's  

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): 255-28

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