Fish in the Amazon

Puerto Maldonado -Selva Amazónica

The Amazon region is famous for its rich biodiversity, and this extends to the fish kingdom. The Amazon is home to a wide variety of fish species, many of which are unique and found only in this region. In this article, we’ll explore the incredible diversity of fish that inhabit the Amazon.

The Amazon is home to more than 3,000 species of fish, representing around a third of all freshwater fish species in the world. These fish have impressive adaptations to survive in the rivers of the Amazon, including dark water and seasonal cycles. They are also adapted to the complex network of aquatic ecosystems.


Pirarucu - Fish - Amazon
  • One of the Amazon’s most emblematic species is the pirarucu (Arapaima gigas), one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. With its scaly body and impressive size, it can reach more than 2 meters in length and weigh more than 100 kilos. The pirarucu is known for its ability to breathe atmospheric air, which allows it to survive in oxygen-poor waters.


Tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum)
  • Another famous fish in the region is the tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum), which can also grow quite large, reaching sizes of more than 1 meter and weights of more than 20 kilos. The tambaqui is prized for its tasty meat and is much sought after for sport fishing in the Amazon.

Electric eel:

Electric eel - Fish - Amazon
  • Another notable group of Amazonian fish are the electric fish, such as the dreaded electric fish (Electrophorus electricus) and the interesting electric eel (Electrophorus voltai). These fish have electric organs that they use to communicate, navigate and even defend themselves. They have the ability to generate powerful electrical discharges. This allows them to detect prey, defend themselves from predators and communicate with other members of the species.

In addition to these remarkable species, the Amazon is home to an impressive variety of other fish, such as the aruanã (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), the tucunaré (Cichla spp.), the manatee (Trichechus inunguis) and a multitude of smaller species of freshwater fish.

However, it is important to emphasize the importance of conserving Amazonian fish and their habitats. Overfishing, environmental degradation and the construction of dams pose significant threats to these unique species. The preservation of these fish requires ongoing conservation efforts and the establishment of sustainable fishing practices.

In summary, the fish of the Amazon are fascinating and constitute one of the region’s main natural assets. Their diversity and adaptability are a testament to the complexity and beauty of the Amazon’s aquatic ecosystems. The conservation of species and habitat in the Amazon is essential. It guarantees the perpetuation of diversity and the sustainability of the Amazon’s natural resources.

Number of fish species in the world

The oceans, rivers and lakes of our planet are home to an immense diversity of aquatic life, and fish are one of the most numerous and fascinating groups. It is estimated that there are around 30,000 known species of fish in the world. Approximately 10% of this number is found in one of the most incredible ecosystems on Earth: the Amazon. In this region, more specifically in the Amazon rivers, we can find an impressive 3,000 different species of fish.

This extraordinary variety of fish in the Amazon is the result of a unique combination of factors. The Amazon basin, with its vast network of rivers, lakes and streams, offers a wide variety of aquatic habitats. Each of them has unique characteristics and environmental conditions. This creates a diversity of ecological niches that allow a multitude of fish species to adapt and evolve.

Among the Amazon’s fish species, there is a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and behaviors. The Amazon is home to a variety of freshwater fish, from small tetras and lambaris to large tambaquis and pirarucus. This makes it a true paradise for lovers of aquatic biodiversity.

Emblematic species

Tucunaré (Cichla ocellaris)
  • Some of the region’s most emblematic and well-known species are the pirarucu (Arapaima gigas), the tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum), the tucunaré (Cichla spp.), the manatee (Trichechus inunguis) and the aruanã (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum). However, the list of Amazonian species is enormous and includes a multitude of other equally fascinating fish.

The diversity of fish in the Amazon is dazzling and plays a vital role in regional aquatic ecosystems. Species interconnected in food webs maintain the ecological balance, fulfilling specific roles in the Amazonian food chain. In addition, many species are crucial to local communities, providing food and economic resources for the Amazon’s riverside populations.

However, the conservation of fish diversity in the Amazon faces significant challenges. Among them, overfishing, environmental degradation and river pollution are problems that threaten these unique species. The construction of dams is another problem that puts their survival at risk. The conservation of these natural riches requires collaboration between governments, local communities, environmental organizations and society in general.

In short, the Amazon is home to an incredible diversity of approximately 3,000 species of fish. This is testimony to the power of nature to create and maintain a diverse aquatic life. These fish represent a natural treasure of inestimable value. Preserving the diversity of these fish is essential for the health of the Amazon and the well-being of local communities.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *