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characin

[kar-uh-sin] /ˈkær ə sɪn/
noun
1.
any freshwater fish of the family Characidae, of Africa and Central and South America.
Also, characid.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85; < Neo-Latin Characinidae name of family, equivalent to Characin(us) the genus (charac- (< Greek charak-, stem of chárax pointed stake, a sea fish) + -inus -in1) + -idae -idae
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for characid

characin

/ˈkærəsɪn/
noun
1.
any small carnivorous freshwater cyprinoid fish of the family Characidae, of Central and South America and Africa. They are similar to the carps but more brightly coloured
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin Characinidae, from characinus, from Greek kharax a fish, probably the sea bream
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for characid

characin

any of the numerous freshwater fishes of the family Characidae. Hundreds of species of characins are found in Central and South America, a smaller number in tropical Africa. Characins are distinguished by toothed jaws and, usually, an adipose (second dorsal) fin on the back. They range in form from a small, blind cave fish (Anoptichthys jordani) of Mexico to the salmonlike tigerfishes (Hydrocynus) of Africa and the deep-bodied piranhas (Serrasalmus) of South America. They range from 2.5 to 152 cm (1 inch to 5 feet) in length and from herbivorous to carnivorous in diet. Many simply scatter their eggs among aquatic plants, but the spraying characin (Copeina arnoldi), placed in a separate family, Lebiasinidae, deposits its spawn out of water on an overhanging leaf or other suitable object, the male keeping the eggs moist by periodically splashing water on them with his tail

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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