The fauna and flora of the Pantanal

a little insight into the species of animals and plants of the Pantanal...

The wetland is home to 156 species of mammals, 98 reptiles and 53 species of amphibians. Around 1700 plants and 650 bird species enrich this 230'000 km² wetland, which consists of dry zones, wet forests and a labyrinth of river arms. Dive in and learn more about this biodiversity. We have listed here some of the animal and plant species you will often encounter during your visit in the wetland.

English name Lat. Class
Tamandua, Southern TamanduaTamandua tetradactylaMammal
Pampas deerOzotoceros bezoarticusMammal
Six-banded armadillo, Yellow armadilloEupharactus sexcintusMammal
PossumDidelphis marsupialisMammal
Giant anteaterMymecophaga tridactylaMammal
South American tapir, Brazilian tapirTapirus terrestrisMammal
CapybaraHydrochoerus hydrochaerisMammal
Black vultureCoragyps atratusBird
Jabiru, TuiuiuJabiru mycteriaBird
Gold teguTupinambis teguixinReptile
Howler monkeyAlouatta carayaMammal
JaguarPanthera oncaMammal
Green KingfisherChloroceryle americanaBird
Capuchin monkeyCebus apellaMammal
Azara's agoutiDasyprocta azaraeMammal
Greater grisonGalictis vittataMammal
Yacare caimanCaiman yacareReptile
Yellow anacondaEunectes noctaeusReptile
South American coatiNasua nasuaMammal
Crab-eating fox, Maikong, Wood foxCerdocyon thousMammal
Giant otterPteronura braziliensisMammal
Pantanal swamp turtleAcanthochelys macrocephalaReptile
Neotropical otterLontra longicaudisMammal
Hyacinth macawAnodorhynchus hyacinthinusBird
Ringed kingfisherCeryle torquataBird
Toco toucan, Giant toucanRamphastos tocoBird
White-throated toucanRamphastos tucanusBird
Jacana, Jesus birdJacana jacanaBird
Greater rheaRhea americanaBird
Southern crested caracara, CaranchoPolyborus plancusBird
Neotropic cormorant, Olivaceous cormorantPhalacrocorax brasilianusBird
Wood storkMycteria americanaBird
Roseate spoonbillPlatalea ajajaBird
Snail kiteRostrhamus sociabilisBird
White-faced whistling duckDendrocygna viduataBird
Burrowing owlAthene cuniculariaBird
Great kiskadee, BenteviPitangus sulphuratusBird
Rufous-bellied thrushTurdus rufiventrisBird
Chestnut-bellied guanPenelope ochrogasterBird
Capped heronPilherodius pileatua
Southern rough-winged swallowStelgidopteryx ruficollis 
Cocoi heronArdea cocoi 
Black-capped donacobiusDonacobius atricapillaBird
Large-billed ternPhaetusa simplexBird
American purple gallinulePorphyrio martinicaBird
Great egretArdea alba
Anhinga, snakebirdAnhinga anhingaBird
Yellow-rumped caciqueCacicus celaBird
Buff-necked ibis, White-throated ibisTheristicus caudatusBird
Black-collared hawkBusarellus nigricollisBird
Monk parakeetMyiopsitta monachus
Peach-fronted parakeetEupsittula aurea
Blue-and-yellow macawAra ararauna 
Rufous horneroFurnarius rufus 
Yellow-chevroned ParakeetBrotogeris chiriri 
Rusty-collared seedeaterSporophila collarisBird
Muscovy duckCairina mochata 
Yellow-billed cardinal Paroaria capitataBird
Ferruginous pygmy owl Glaucidium brasilianumBird
Rufous-tailed jacamar Galbula ruficaudaBird
 Eurypyga heliasBird
Chaco chachalaca Ortalis canicollisBird
Savanna hawk Buteogallus meridionalisBird
Guira cuckoo Guira guiraBird
Plumbeous ibis Theristicus caerulescensBird
Grassland Yellow-finch Sicalis luteolaBird
Red-crested cardinal Paroaria coronataBird
Squirrel cuckooPiaya cayanaBird
Red pileated finch, Red-crested finch Coryphospingus cucullatusBird
Scarlet flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinusBird
Smooth-billed ani Crotophaga aniBird
Blue-headed parrot, Blue-headed pionus Pionus menstruusBird
White-eared puffbird Nystalus chacuruBird
Black-throated Saltator Saltator atricollisBird
Glittering-throated emerald Amazilia fimbriataBird
Maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurusMammal
Emilia's marmoset, Snethlage's marmoset Mico emiliaeMammal
White-lipped peccary Tayassu pecariMammal
Green iguana Iguana iguanaReptile
Bothrops Bothrops mattogrossensisReptile
Black pseudoboa Pseudoboa nigraReptile
Leptophis ahaetulla, parrot snake Leptophis ahaetullaReptile
Aquatic coral snake Micrurus surinamensisReptile
Coluber poecilogyrus Liophis poecilogyrusReptile
Blind Ground Snake, Velvet Swampsnake Liophis typhlusReptile
Spilotes pullatus, Chicken snake, Caninana Spilotes pullatusReptile
Pink lapacho, Pink ipê, Pink trumpet tree Handroanthus impetiginosusPlant
Santa Cruz water lily, Victoria cruziana Victoria cruzianaPlant
Common water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes Eichhornia CrassipesPlant
Ficus clusiifoliaFicus clusiifoliaPlant
Boa constrictorBoa constrictorReptile
Rufescent tiger heronTigrisoma lineatumBird
Nanday parakeet, Black-hooded parakeetAratinga nendayBird
Chestnut-eared aracariPteroglossus castanotisBird
Boat-billed flycatcherMegarynchus pitanguaBird
Green ibisMesembrinibis cayennensisBird
Red brocketMazama americanaMammal
animals and plants are displayed (of total animals and plants)
Pampas deer, Ozotoceros bezoarticus

Ozotoceros bezoarticus

Pampas deer

Body length: 115 - 140 cm
Weight: 30 - 40 kg
Gestation period: 210 days, only one young, exceptionally twin
Food: It chews grass, leaves, shoots
Life span: up to 30 years

After the pairing, the antlers come off and grow again. The coat is short and smooth, of light brown colour. They live in open fields or in vegetation covered with shrubs. They can be seen in pairs or in large groups.

Red brocket, Mazama americana

Mazama americana

Red brocket

Body height: 100 - 145 cm
Weight: 30 - 48 kg
Gestation period: 225 days, only one young
Food: grasses, leaves, fruits, seeds and young shoots
Life span: up to 7 - 16 years

The antlers don't become bigger than 12 cm. It has a brown-red coat. It lives in dense and vegetation-rich forests, therefore it is also difficult to observe. They are good swimmers. The solitary mazamas mark their 50 to 100 ha territory by urine and dung traces as well as by rubbing their head against the bark of a tree.

Southern Tamandua, Tamandua tetradactyla

Tamandua tetradactyla

Tamandua, Southern Tamandua

Body length: 80 cm
Weight: 7 kg
Gestation period: 130 - 150 days, one young
Food: termites, ants, insects
Life span: 9 - 12 years

There are also observations that show how tamanduas break open hives and consume the bees and honey. They are mainly living on trees but they also move around on the ground looking for food. They defend themselves with their strong front claws. Their habitats are forests and savannahs.

Giant anteater, Mymecophaga tridactyla

Mymecophaga tridactyla

Giant anteater

Body length: 130 cm
Weight: 40 kg
Gestation period: 120 - 190 days, one young
Food: termites, ants
Life span: 26 years

Head narrow and long. Tubular toothless snout and long tongue up to 50 cm. Anteaters open termite mounds and ant nests with their claws and use their tongue to transport ants and termites into their mouths. It needs 30'000-40'000 termites and ants per day.

Possum, Didelphis marsupialis

Didelphis marsupialis


Body length: 32 - 50 cm
Weight: 5.5 kg
Gestation period: 12 - 14 days, up to 20 young
Food: Insects, small vertebrates, carrion, fruits and grains
Life span: 2 years

Black or grey body, chest and belly paler. Head pretty yellow. Face with dark stripes. Ears large and naked. When threatened, possums often play dead. However, they react extremely aggressively and can even bite.

Yellow armadillo, Eupharactus sexcintus

Eupharactus sexcintus

Six-banded armadillo, Yellow armadillo

Body length: 40 - 50 cm
Weight: 3 - 8 kg
Gestation period: 60 - 75 days, often 2 young
Food: insects, small vertebrates, carrion, fruits, roots
Life span: 15 years

Head, back and sides with horny bone plates, sparsely haired with long, light bristles. Head broad, triangular when viewed from the front. Five toes with claws. They are still hunted today for their flesh.

Brazilian tapir, South American tapir, Tapirus terrestris

Tapirus terrestris

South American tapir, Brazilian tapir

Body length: 180 - 250 cm
Weight: 150 - 250 kg
Gestation period: 385 - 412 days, one young
Food: leaves, fruits, roots
Life span: 35 years

The paper has a strong short hair coat. It lives in forests near water bodies, into which it dives when it feels threatened. It is mainly active at dusk and lives as a solitary animal. It has an excellent sense of smell and hearing, which makes it particularly difficult to track it down.

Capybara, Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris


Body length: 100 - 130 cm
Weight: 80 kg
Gestation period: 150 days, 1 - 8 young
Food: grass, water plants
Life span: 10 years

Fur-coloring maroon. The animal is tailless. The Capivaras live in groups. Herds of up to 40 specimens are not rare. When swimming, only the nostrils, eyes and ears are visible above the water level.

Howler monkey, Alouatta caraya

Alouatta caraya

Howler monkey

Body length: 60 - 90 cm
Weight: 4 - 10 kg
Gestation period: 180-190 days, one young
Food: leaves, buds and fruits
Life span: 20 years

Males black to black-brown. Females and young males pale yellow-brown. They are diurnal and live in small groups of four to nine animals on trees. The roar of the males can be heard from very far away.

Capuchin monkey, Cebus apella

Cebus apella

Capuchin monkey

Body length: 30 - 58 cm
Weight: 2 - 4 kg
Gestation period: 150 - 180 days, one young every 2 years
Food: fruits, buds, birds' eggs, insects and nectar
Life span: 15 - 25 years

They are active during the day and often stay on palm trees. They know how to use a tool (stone, stick) to break nuts.

Emilia's marmoset, Mico emiliae

Mico emiliae

Emilia's marmoset, Snethlage's marmoset

Body length: 20 - 30 cm
Weight: 300 - 400 g
Gestation period: 130 - 150 days, often twin births
Food: fruits, seeds, small vertebrates, insects, spiders
Life span: 15 - 18 years

They are active during the day and live in families of two to twelve animals. Groups live in territories of 10 to 40 hectares, which they defend against conspecifics. The long tail is black, also the upper side of the head. They have claws on fingers and toes.

Jaguar n the Pantanal, Panthera onca

Panthera onca


Body length: 150 cm
Weight: 70 - 110 kg
Gestation period: 100 days,1 - 4 young
Food: deer, capybaras, wild boar, armadillos, agutis, turtles, fish and much more
Life span: 10 - 12 years

The jaguar is the largest carnivorous mammal in Brazil. It needs at least 2 kg of meat per day. Its hunting area is 25 to 80 km². Although they are so feared, rare cases of attacks on humans are known. With a bit luck you will see them on our river tours lying in the thicket on river banks.

Azara's agouti, Dasyprocta azarae

Dasyprocta azarae

Azara's agouti

Body length: 40 - 64 cm
Weight: 250 g
Gestation period: 100 - 120 days, 2 - 4 offspring
Food: fruits, seeds, roots, Brazil nuts, succulents
Life span: 15 - 18 years

Agutis are small rodents. They have a small stub tail of about 4 cm length. The front extremities are shorter than their legs. The feet are long and all five toes have small hoof-like claws, one of them is very small. Agutis are also responsible for the spread of the Brazil Nut Tree.

Greater grison, Galictis vittata

Galictis vittata

Greater grison

Body length: 48 - 80 cm
Weight: 800 - 2000 g
Gestation period: 40 days, 4 - 7 young, more rarely also up to 12 young
Food: meat, nuts, grains
Life span: 6 - 8 years

Ferrets spend 14 to 18 hours asleep. When they are awake, they are very active. Ferrets do not have an appendix and have a very short colon.

South American coati, Nasua nasua

Nasua nasua

South American coati

Body length: 43 - 66 cm
Weight: 3.5 - 6 kg
Gestation period: 75 days, 3 - 7 young
Food: omnivores, plants, insects, larvae, spiders, scorpions and carrion
Life span: 14 years

The coati can also eat the poisonous agate toad, it beats or washes the poison out before eating it. They live in forests and cerrados. Group size sometimes more than 20 specimens. The males are solitary.

Wood fox, Maikong, Cerdocyon thous

Cerdocyon thous

Crab-eating fox, Maikong, Wood fox

Body length: 64 cm
Weight: 6 - 8 kg
Gestation period: 55 - 58 days, 4 - 6 young
Food: insects, frogs, mice, birds, lizards, fish, crustaceans (crabs), fruits, berries
Life span: 11 years

It is a nocturnal animal, during the day it hides in hollow trees or holes in the ground. It generally inhabits open forests, Cerrados and Campos. It is often seen in pairs.

Maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus

Chrysocyon brachyurus

Maned wolf

Body length: 90 cm
Weight: 20 - 25 kg
Gestation period: 65 day, 3 - 5 young
Food: rodents, fruits, birds, eggs, lizards, insects
Life span: 10 - 12 years

He's an omnivore. Its diet consists of up to 50% fruit. His long legs are noticeable. It is very shy and monogamous and lives in pairs in an area of about 30 km². Unfortunately it belongs to a highly endangered species, although it is not a serious threat to most of the farm animals of man. Unlike the wolf, the maned wolf is not a pack hunter.

White-lipped peccary, Tayassu pecari

Tayassu pecari

White-lipped peccary

Body length: 91 - 130 cm
Weight: 25 - 40 kg
Gestation period: 156 - 162 days, 1 - 4 young
Food: forest fruits, tubers, roots, seeds, mushrooms, leaves, snails, vertebrates, amphibians, insects
Life span: 15 years

They live in groups of 50 - 300 animals. Their habitat is the forests. In case of danger they beat with their teeth, you can hear this already in a far distance. They are highly endangered by the loss of habitat and illegal hunting.

Giant otter, Pteronura braziliensis

Pteronura braziliensis

Giant otter

Body length: 210 cm
Weight: 32 kg
Gestation period: 70 days,1 - 3 young
Food: 2 - 3 kg fish per day as well as crabs, snakes, young caimans
Life span: 10 years

It lives in family groups and nests on the shore in a long cave, which often contains an emergency exit. They are highly threatened with extinction due to the destruction of their habitat and illegal hunting.

Neotropical otter, Lontra longicaudis

Lontra longicaudis

Neotropical otter

Body length: 55 - 120 cm
Weight: 35 kg
Gestation period: 60 - 80 days, 2 - 5 young
Food: fish, crustaceans, reptiles, sometimes birds and small mammals
Life span: 10 - 12 years

It usually sleeps on the riverbank during the day and wakes up at night to look for food. It lives as a loner, only during the mating season and the raising of young, it can be seen with its partner. His neck is thicker than his head. Unfortunately he is still hunted in South America for his fur and meat.

Ringed kingfisher with fish, Ceryle torquata

Ceryle torquata

Ringed kingfisher

Body length: bis 42 cm
Weight: bis 350 g
Incubation period: 22 days, 3 - 6 eggs, bottom hatcher
Food: fish, reptiles, crustaceans and insects
Life span: 12 years

On top it is metal grey with white collar, the belly is reddish brown. It is one of the largest kingfishers. They dig nests in the cliffs along the river banks. It sits on high branches and with an incredible flight it dives into the water to catch fish.

Green Kingfisher, Chloroceryle americana

Chloroceryle americana

Green Kingfisher

Body length: bis 19 cm
Weight: 30 -55 g
Incubation period: 16 - 21 days, 3 - 6 eggs, bottom hatcher
Food: fish and crabs
Life span: 5 years

It fishes in shallow waters and dives directly towards its prey. The females brood at night and the males during the day. Their nest is an approx. 37 - 100 cm deep tunnel, which they dig on the river bank.

Toco toucan, Giant toucan, Ramphastos toco

Ramphastos toco

Toco toucan, Giant toucan

Body length: 55 - 61 cm
Weight: 600 - 750 g
Incubation period: 17 - 18 days, 2 - 4 eggs
Food: fruits, small fledglings, birds' eggs, insects and other small animals
Life span: 18 - 20 years

Its large, 20 cm long beak serves as air conditioning. It can let the blood flow through it so that the body temperature drops. Toucans steal eggs and chicks from other nests. So you can see that the smaller birds attack the thief and flee, one of them plucking the toucan's head and the other one the tail feathers. These are both places where he cannot defend himself.

White-throated toucan, Ramphastos tucanus

Ramphastos tucanus

White-throated toucan

Body length: 50 - 61 cm
Weight: 600 g
Incubation period: 15 days, 2 - 3 eggs, breeders in tree holes
Food: chicks of other birds, especially oropendolas birds, small reptiles, berries and nuts
Life span: up to 20 years

The males are larger and have a longer beak than the females. Their loud screams can be heard from far away on our farm. The chicks are blind and naked, with pads on their legs to protect them from the rough nest floor. The couple feeds the young even after they have left the nest.

Chestnut-eared aracari, Pteroglossus castanotis

Pteroglossus castanotis

Chestnut-eared aracari

Body length: 43 - 47 cm
Weight: 230 - 310 g
Incubation period: 14 - 16 days, 2 - 4 eggs
Food: fruits, insects, flowers, young birds
Life span: 12 - 15 years

The chestnut-eared aracari is a common bird in the Pantanal. It lives along the rivers in the forests. They fly in groups and nest in the trees, caves and holes of termite mounds. It can be easily distinguished from the other Arassari species because its ears are covered with chestnut-coloured plumage.

Jabiru, Tuiuiu, Jabiru mycteria

Jabiru mycteria

Jabiru, Tuiuiu

Body length: 120 -140 cm
Weight: 6 - 8 kg
Incubation period: 35 - 40 days, 2 - 5 eggs
Nestlingszeit: 100 - 105 days
Food: carrion, small fish, molluscs, amphibians, bird nests, small mammals (e.g. mice)
Life span: 35 years

It is the second largest flying bird in South America, a stork, but for many ornithologists it is the closest relative of the marabou. Before it eats carrion, it circles like a vulture to change the level of its white blood cells so that the carrion does not make it sick.

Roseate spoonbill, Platalea ajaja

Platalea ajaja

Roseate spoonbill

Body length: 87 cm
Weight: 1.4 kg
Incubation period: 22 days, 2 - 3 eggs
Food: fish, snails and small insects
Life span: 20 years

Once threatened with extinction, the populations of the Roseate spoonbill recovered. They live on the coastal regions of the USA and fly in the north winter to South America, where the temperatures are more pleasant. They breed in small colonies. They live in marshy areas at the edge of rivers and lakes. The tip of their beak, which is shaped like a spoon, pulls them back and forth in the water while searching for food. In doing so, they scare up small water animals, which they skillfully grab with their beaks.

Neotropic cormorant, Olivaceous cormorant, Phalacrocorax brasilianus

Phalacrocorax brasilianus

Neotropic cormorant, Olivaceous cormorant

Body length: 75 cm
Weight: 1.1 - 1.6 kg
Incubation period: 30 days, 3 - 4 eggs
Food: mainly small fish, but also crabs and amphibians
Life span: 25 - 30 years

It's a good snorkeler. It lacks the uropigial gland, so it feathers get wet and it weight increases. It lives in fresh and salt water. It is often seen drying it feathers on the banks of rivers and lakes. During the rainy season in the Pantanal and the Amazon, they fly south in V-formation.

Rufescent tiger heron, Tigrisoma lineatum

Tigrisoma lineatum

Rufescent tiger heron

Body length: 66 - 76 cm
Weight: 800 - 900 g
Incubation period: 31 - 34 days, 2 eggs
Food: fish, insects, crustaceans and snakes
Life span: -

It belongs to a common heron species of South and Central America. Marbled Herons go alone in search of food, they tend to avoid other herons. Except during the breeding season they often form colonies. They build their nests on trees. The birds nest on the edge of water bodies. Within a colony, however, their own territory is fiercely defended.

Wood stork, Mycteria americana

Mycteria americana

Wood stork

Body length: 83 - 115 cm
Weight: 2 - 3.3 kg
Incubation period: 27 - 32 days, 3 - 5 eggs
Food: fish, crabs, frogs and insects
Life span: 20 - 25 years

In groups they stand or walk slowly in shallow waters. With the tip of their beaks in the water they search for fish in the flooded forests. It occurs in Brazil, Argentina and Florida. In the rainy season it migrates from the Pantanal.

Cocoi heron, Ardea cocoi

Ardea cocoi

Cocoi heron

Body length: 125 cm
Weight: 1.9 kg
Incubation period: 24 - 26 days, 2 - 4 eggs
Food: fish, frogs, water insects
Life span: 25 -30 years

It is a solitary bird, but sporadically it can live in large groups, is quite calm for a long time to catch its prey. It lives in fresh water environments and can be seen all over Brazil. It builds its nests on high trees. You have to observe it at a distance of more than 60 meters. It belongs to the largest heron species in Brazil.

Great egret, Ardea alba

Ardea alba

Great egret

Body length: 85 - 100 cm
Weight: 1 - 1.5 kg
Incubation period: 25 - 26 days, 3 - 5 eggs
Food: insects, amphibians, crustaceans, fish and mice also smaller young birds
Life span: 18 - 20 years

In the dry season it can be seen in large groups near ponds. They build their nest in trees up to 50 m high. The Great White Egret has one of the largest distribution areas and can be found on all continents. In Europe it is mainly found in winter. The neck, forms an «S» when lurking. They live together during the breeding season and then separate again from their partner.

Anhinga, snakebird, Anhinga anhinga

Anhinga anhinga

Anhinga, snakebird

Body length: 81 - 91 cm
Weight: 1.3 kg
Incubation period: 25 - 28 days, 3 - 5 eggs
Food: fish, frogs, water snakes and baby alligators
Life span:  12 - 16 years

It mainly hunts larger fish on its dives lasting up to one minute. You can often see it sitting on branches and stakes looking out of the water. It has no fat gland with which it can make his plumage waterproof, like the ducks and geese for example. That is why it can hardly fly after dives, «soaked up» and has to dry itself first. But because of its heavier weight it can dive up to 20 meters deep. The male helps with incubation and care of the offspring.

Capped heron, Pilherodius pileatua

Pilherodius pileatua

Capped heron

Body length: 56 cm
Weight: 450 g
Incubation period: 26 - 27 days, 2 - 3 eggs
Food: fish, amphibians, insects, worms and snails
Life span: -

It lives and sleeps alone, fishes in shallow water and swallows very big fish. It is also looking for mussels. When leaving the water it opens its wings to dry the feathers. The Capped Heron is a migratory bird.

Rhea, Rhea americana

Rhea americana

Greater rhea

Body length: 140 cm
Weight: 34 kg
Incubation period: 40 days, 13 - 30 eggs
Food: leaves, fruits, seeds and insects
Life span: 25 - 30 years

It is the largest bird in North and South America. The males have a harem of up to 6 females, which only lay the eggs, it hatches them and looks after the children. When they are in danger they can run up to 60 km per hour. In the Pantanal and in central and western Brazil, the Nandu lives peacefully with the cattle on the farms. In this way it keeps the pasture clean from skulls.

Southern crested caracara, Carancho, Polyborus plancus

Polyborus plancus

Southern crested caracara, Carancho

Body length: 64 cm
Weight: 0.9 - 1.6 kg
Incubation period: 28 - 32 days, 2 - 4 eggs
Food: dead fish, reptiles, amphibians, crabs and insects
Life span: 30 years

It's opportunistic, eats carrion next to the vultures. It attacks the nests of curicacas and eats the young just before they leave the nest. For some Indians they are bad luck because they believe that he scatters burning branches in dry areas to start fires.

Black vulture, Coragyps atratus

Coragyps atratus

Black vulture

Body length: 56 - 68 cm
Weight: 1 - 2 kg
Incubation period: 28 - 41 days, usually only 2 eggs, ground breeders
Food: carrion, organic municipal waste, fruit, defenseless small young animals (marmosets, reptiles, etc.)
Life span: 10 years

Like all vultures, it flies in circles at high altitude, not to see where the ace is, but to change the blood level with UV light so that they don't get food poisoning from eating rotten meat. The raven vulture works like an avalanche beacon. It circles and shifts its circles in the direction where it smells of carrion. Today this is used in Europe to find hidden bodies.

Snail kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis

Rostrhamus sociabilis

Snail kite

Body length: 39 - 48 cm
Weight: 380 - 410 g
Incubation period: 26 - 28 days, 2 - 30 eggs
Food: snails, crabs, locusts
Life span: 25 - 32 years

They fly between 2 and 8 m above low water areas and collect snails. They have their chosen place and come there again and again to eat their prey, accumulating a large amount of waste such as snail shells and crab shells. Sleeps in groups. During the flood they fly in flocks to the Cerrado and feed on locusts.

Black-collared hawk, Busarellus nigricollis

Busarellus nigricollis

Black-collared hawk

Body length: 47 - 58 cm
Weight: 700 - 800 g
Incubation period: 35 - 40 days, 1- 2 eggs
Food: fish, frogs, aquatic insects and snails
Life span: -

It lives by the rivers. It has wide wings and a short tail, which is useful for long flights. It has rough fingers and long curved nails that help it to fish. The nest is made by storks, usually at the top of the trees.

Savanna hawk, Buteogallus meridionalis

Buteogallus meridionalis

Savanna hawk

Body length: 46 - 61 cm
Weight: 850 g
Incubation period: 35 - 36 days, 1 - 2 eggs
Food: amphibians, large insects, crabs, birds, small mammals, snakes, ameive lizards and green iguanas
Life span: 13 years

It often lives near the water. It opportunistically hunts all kinds of prey, especially snakes, which it takes in flight. In the Pantanal, it often lingers on fences or mounds of earth. Young animals have a whitish stripe on their face. (see the photo)

Ferruginous pygmy owl, Glaucidium brasilianum

Glaucidium brasilianum

Ferruginous pygmy owl

Body length: 17 - 20 cm
Weight: 46 - 90 g
Incubation period: 24 - 27 days, 3 - 5 eggs
Food: insects, small birds and mice
Life span: -

It hunts day and night and sings while doing so. It has a neck mark and two big eyes to fool his prey. With its singing it attracts birds like the hummingbird. The hummingbird becomes very aggressive and wants to drive him out of its territory by hacking on his neck. The hummingbird gets scared and lands directly in the beak of the owl. It has the habit of nesting in the nest of clay pottery birds.

Burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia

Athene cunicularia

Burrowing owl

Body length: 23 cm
Weight: 140 - 200 g
Incubation period: 28 days, 2 - 11 eggs
Food: beetles, small rodents, amphibians and pigeons
Life span: 14 - 16 years

It is active during the day. When it feels threatened it screams louder and louder and it sounds like a shrill alarm. You often see them on fence posts, they dig holes in the ground or use the dens of rabbits or armadillos as nests.

American purple gallinule, Porphyrio martinica

Porphyrio martinica

American purple gallinule

Body length: 36 cm
Weight: 140 - 300 g
Incubation period: 22 - 25 days, 6 - 10 eggs
Food: seeds, fruits and leaves of water and land plants, including insects, frogs, snails, spiders, worms, fish
Life span: 12 - 15 years

It is found in bushes and near water. When it feels threatened, it swims and dives to escape the danger. The pygmy sultan hen is one of the most beautiful coots in Brazil, and this will always be in the eye of the beholder.

Jacana, Jesus bird, Jacana jacana

Jacana jacana

Jacana, Jesus bird

Body length: 20 cm
Weight: 80 - 130 g
Incubation period: 22 - 24 days, always 4 black eggs
Food: insects, snails, small crustaceans and small fish
Life span: 15 - 20 years

Their reproduction is polyandry. The females fight each other to determine who gets the male. They «marry» several Males, build the nests and take care of brooding and the care of the offspring The females lay the eggs and only help when the male is in trouble, i.e. when they are attacked by fish, water snakes, large amphibians and caiman. They have spores on their wings and huge toes to walk on the water plants.

Buff-necked ibis, White-throated ibis, Theristicus caudatus

Theristicus caudatus

Buff-necked ibis, White-throated ibis

Body length: 61 - 67 cm
Weight: 1.7 kg
Incubation period: 20 - 31 days, 2 - 4 eggs
Food: worms, shells, crustaceans, large insects, snails, amphibians and small mammals
Life span: 14 - 16 years

Its beak is long and it uses it to grab food in water and swamps. It stings it deep into soft ground in search of larvae. Often, they visit the same nests on trees every year. They also live near human dwellings. At dusk as well as in the early morning you can hear their loud call, which is why they are also called «despertador» (alarm clock).

Plumbeous ibis, Theristicus caerulescens

Theristicus caerulescens

Plumbeous ibis

Body length: 71 - 76 cm
Weight: 1.5 kg
Incubation period: 28 days, 2 - 4 eggs
Food: apple snails, shells, crabs, frogs, fish, eels also snakes and lizards
Life span: 12 - 18 years

Settles with trunks of palm trees and dead branches. Lives alone or in pairs in open wetlands. It builds its nests on high trees. It prefers to eat snails in shallow waters under the carpet of water plants. The crested caracara eats its young before they fly out.

Green ibis, Mesembrinibis cayennensis

Mesembrinibis cayennensis

Green ibis

Body length: 48 - 58 cm
Weight: 800 g
Incubation period: 28 days, 2 - 4 eggs
Food: insects, larvae, worms, fish, frogs and various plants
Life span: -

It lives alone or very rarely in small groups of 3 to 4 animals, on the banks of rivers and lakes. It nests high up in the trees. The call resembles a "kro kro" or "koro koro" and is quite soft.

Muscovy duck, Cairina mochata

Cairina mochata

Muscovy duck

Body length: 85 cm
Weight: 2 kg ♀ up to  4 kg ♂
Incubation period: 35 days, 8 - 21 eggs
Food: leaves, fruits, seeds and insects
Life span: 25 - 30 years

It is a heavy bird descended from the domestic duck. Therefore its flight is very shear, which can be heard on the noisy wing beat. It is a migratory bird and lives in smaller groups. The drake (here in the picture) develops reddish warts on its unfeathered face above its eyes.

White-faced whistling duck, Dendrocygna viduata

Dendrocygna viduata

White-faced whistling duck

Body length: 46 cm
Weight: 500 - 800 g
Incubation period: 26 - 30 days, 4 -13 eggs
Food: plants, insects, snails and seeds
Life span: up to 15 years

Can be seen throughout Brazil in wetlands, rivers, swamps, marshes, the sea, beaches, lakes and artificial ponds with floating aquatic plants. They fly at night in groups and make a lot of noise. The typical bright whistling sound is caused by the special shape of their tracheal system.

Chestnut-bellied guan, Penelope ochrogaster

Penelope ochrogaster

Chestnut-bellied guan

Body length: 68 - 75 cm
Weight: 34 kg
Incubation period: 28 days, 2 eggs
Food: leaves of lapacho trees, fruits, seeds, invertebrates
Life span:

Unfortunately, it is practically extinct outside the Pantanal plain due to hunting and the clearing of its habitat. It also feeds on the flower of the trumpet tree (Tabebuia or also called Piúvas ). It lives monogamously, i.e. an individual has only one partner for its entire life. The red dewlap is more or less visible, depending on whether the bird is afraid or not. In case of danger it contracts the muscles and thus reduces the red glow.

Chaco chachalaca, Chacotschatschalaka

Ortalis canicollis

Chaco chachalaca

Body length: 50 - 56 cm
Weight: 480 - 680 g
Incubation period: 24 days, 3 - 4 eggs
Food: leaves, fruits, seeds and flowers
Life span: about 8 years

It is rarely seen on the ground. Lives in the «gallery forest», in bushes and palm trees. In the morning and evening it dominates other birds with its singing. They live in groups of up to 30 birds. Because they eat the fruits and their seeds and empty them again intact, they are responsible for the distribution of new fruit trees.

Great kiskadee, Bemtevi, Pitangus sulphuratus

Pitangus sulphuratus

Great kiskadee, Bentevi

Body length: 12 cm
Weight: 63 g
Incubation period: 16 - 17 days, 3 - 4 eggs
Food: insects, rodents, lizards, frogs, fruits, little bats and fish
Life span: 6 - 7 years

The Bentevi «Bem-te-vi», which means «I have seen you», is a common and striking bird in the Pantanal. Its loud «Bem-te-vi» call is heard on every walk. It often warns small birds of birds of prey, even attacking them in agile flights when it feels disturbed. Even if they are bigger than him. He has made the many cities of South America his habitat. Unlike the Boat-billed flycatcher, the Bem-ti-vi can be recognized by its yellowish coloured bill root.

Boat-billed flycatcher, Megarynchus pitangua

Megarynchus pitangua

Boat-billed flycatcher

Body length: 21 - 24 cm
Weight: 58 g
Incubation period: 17 - 18 days, 2 - 3 eggs
Food: Mainly insects, also fruits, lizards, frogs and small fish
Life span: 6 years

It lives on the edges of forests and in semi-open areas and sits on the high branches in large trees. It does not stay in one place for long and often moves in pairs or in family groups of three to five individuals. Its bill is slightly more outwardly curved and slightly wider than that of the Pitangus sulphuratus.

Rufous-bellied thrush, Turdus rufiventris

Turdus rufiventris

Rufous-bellied thrush

Body length: 25 cm
Weight: 70 g
Incubation period: 27 - 28 days, 2 - 3 eggs
Food: insects, larvae, earthworms, ripe fruit and palm fruits
Life span: 10 years

Since 2002 national bird of Brazil. It is a common bird in the southeast of Brazil. The singing sounds flute melodic «tju-tju-tjeé tjutu».

Southern rough-winged swallow, Stelgidopteryx ruficollis

Stelgidopteryx ruficollis

Southern rough-winged swallow

Body length: 13 cm
Weight: 15 g
Incubation period: 16 - 18 days, 3 - 6 eggs
Food: insects
Life span: -

They are found in open areas and forest clearings. It nests in cavities of various types, including holes in river banks or in disused kingfisher and jacamar nests (woodpecker). They look for insects in flight, which normally fly low and slower.

Black-capped donacobius, Donacobius atricapilla

Donacobius atricapilla

Black-capped donacobius

Body length: 22 cm
Weight: 31 - 42 g
Incubation period: 16 - 18 days, 2 eggs
Food: beetles, grasshoppers, butterfly caterpillars, bugs, spiders
Life span: -

They are often seen at any time of the day in the dense thicket of the riparian vegetation of lakes and rivers. The thrush likes to breed near water. Once a pair has found each other, they stay together for a lifetime. Usually the young birds from the previous generation help their parents to raise the brood.

Phaetusa simplex, Phaetusa simplex

Phaetusa simplex

Phaetusa simplex

Body length: 38 - 42 cm
Weight: 208 - 240 g
Incubation period: 27 - 30 days, 1 - 3 eggs
Food: up to 12cm long fish and larger insects
Life span: 12 years

It has a big yellow beak. They seem aggressive because they do not steal food from other birds. They live on freshwater shores where they nest in colonies of 200 or more pairs and lay its eggs directly on the sand. Its eggs and chicks are sought after by snakes, iguanas, birds of prey and even humans.

Yellow-rumped cacique, Cacicus cela

Cacicus cela

Yellow-rumped cacique

Body length: 24 - 29 cm
Weight: 60 - 100 g
Incubation period: 24 - 30 days, 2 eggs
Food: fruits and insects
Life span: -

They build nests similar to those of weaver birds, often near wasps' nests. This has the advantage that the nests are less plundered by toucans. According to one theory, the wasps are attracted by the birds' nest smell and clean it of parasites, a harmful mite species. A danger is the piratic flycatcher (Legatus leucophaius), which often lays its eggs in the nests of the yellow-rumped cacique and then throws their eggs out of the nest.

Hyacinth macaw, Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus

Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus

Hyacinth macaw

Body length: up to 100 cm
Weight: 1.5 kg
Incubation period: 24 days, 2 - 3 eggs
Food: fruits, nuts, seeds
Life span: 25 years (wildlife)

It is the biggest parrot in the world. Males and females are identical and the pair remains faithful to each other throughout their lives. When they are in the group, the older ones are allowed to choose first the fruits that are easier to eat. Then the younger ones get their turn and finally the very young ones who can open the harder fruits.

Monk parakeet, Myiopsitta monachus

Myiopsitta monachus

Monk parakeet

Body length: 28 - 30 cm
Weight: 100 g
Incubation period: 22 - 23 days, 5 - 6 eggs
Food: leaves, fruits, seeds and insects
Life span: 10 - 15 years

They live in colonies that build large community nests. In these, each couple has its own «apartments» and special chambers form the bedrooms. Each couple has its own entrance. They often build the nests under the jabiru nests. The jabirus act as a kind of «alarm system».

Peach-fronted parakeet, Eupsittula aurea

Eupsittula aurea

Peach-fronted parakeet

Body length: 26 cm
Weight: 80 - 105 g
Incubation period: 15 - 21 days, 2 - 6 eggs
Food: fruits such as, mangoes, jabuticabas, guavas, palm seeds, cashew nuts and winged termites
Life span: 14 - 19 years

The forehead is yellow-orange and its plumage light green. It lives in the Cerrado area and on pastures and plantations. It can reproduce the human voice by being able to repeat some words.

Blue-and-yellow macaw, Ara ararauna

Ara ararauna

Blue-and-yellow macaw

Body length: 80 - 90 cm
Weight: 0.9 - 1.5 kg
Incubation period: 28 days, 2 - 3 eggs
Food: fruits, preferably palm fruits, nuts and berries
Life span: 30 - 35 years

Prefers the savannahs as well as forests and is often found on palm trees. Blue-yellow macaws are mainly found in pairs, but can also group together in groups of up to 25 animals. When they appear in pairs, they fly close together, with their wings almost touching. They join small, noisy flocks in the early morning hours in search of food, and around noon they start looking for shade. Blue-yellow macaws are extremely alert; at any sign of danger they fly loudly screeching into the air. Unfortunately it is one of the most popular macaws for captivity.

Nanday parakeet, Black-hooded parakeet, Nandayus nenday

Aratinga nenday

Nanday parakeet, Black-hooded parakeet

Body length: 25 - 30 cm
GWeight: 140 g
Incubation period: 25 days, 2 - 5 eggs
Food: palm nuts, seeds, fruits, flowers and buds
Life span: 19 years

It lives in gallery and palm forests, mainly in the Pantanal. Easy to recognize by the black spot on its head. Its strong beak allows it to dig deep cavities in the trees. It is quite loud and gathers in large groups outside the breeding season.

Blue-headed parrot, Blue-headed pionus, Pionus menstruus

Pionus menstruus

Blue-headed parrot, Blue-headed pionus

Body length: 24 - 28 cm
Weight: 210 - 300 g
Incubation period: 23 - 28 days, 3 - 5 eggs, rarely 5 eggs
Food: fruits, seeds, flowers and nuts
Life span: 14 - 21 years

Easy to recognize by its blue head. It is very sociable and lives in flocks in semi-open areas and forests. The female lays its eggs in a tree hollow. Like almost all parrots, you can see it picking up clay, which probably neutralizes toxins from poisonous fruits. It is easily recognized in flight by its loud cry. Its population has declined significantly in recent years. Meanwhile it is on the red list since 2003.

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet, Brotogeris chiriri

Brotogeris chiriri

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet

Body length: 21 cm
Weight: 72 g
Incubation period: 26 days, 3 - 6 eggs
Food: seeds, fruits, flowers and nectar
Life span: 15 - 20 years
This species is unmistakable by the beautiful colour of its wings. The green and yellow reminds of the Brazilian national flag. It lives in low vegetation. It is sociable and forms large flocks and common roosts outside the breeding season. These flocks consist of up to several hundred birds.

Rufous hornero, Furnarius rufus

Furnarius rufus

Rufous hornero

Body length: 19 - 22 cm
Weight: 18 - 49 g
Incubation period: 20 days, 3 - 5 eggs
Food: worms, insects and larvae
Life span: 3 - 5 years

The couple builds its nest with damp clay mixed with straw and dried cow dung, in the shape of an oven and inside a snail. This construction protects them from the attacks of the toucans. The nests are only used once by them, then by other birds, bees and even the smaller opossum.

Rusty-collared seedeater, Sporophila collaris

Sporophila collaris

Rusty-collared seedeater 

Body length: 12 cm
Weight: 8 - 14 g
Incubation period: 12 - 14 days, 3 - 5 eggs
Food: grains and insects
Life span: 3 - 4 years

It likes wet or flooded grassland and shrubby swampland, also open land by rivers or lakes.

Yellow-billed cardinal, Paroaria capitata

 Paroaria capitata

Yellow-billed cardinal

Body length: 16 cm
Weight: 17 - 24 g
Incubation period: 13 - 14 days, 2 - 5  eggs
Food: seeds, fruits, flowers, insects
Life span: 2 - 3 years

Are usually in groups of 6 to 12 birds. A large part of the time the bird also spends on the ground, pecking for seeds to eat. They usually do not move further than 30 kilometres away from their territory.

Rufous-tailed jacamar, Galbula ruficauda

Galbula ruficauda

Rufous-tailed jacamar

Body length: 19 - 25 cm
Weight: 18 - 28 g
Incubation period: 20 - 30 days, 2 - 4 eggs
Food: mainly insects
Life span: -

Lives alone or in couples. It feeds mainly on flying insects. After a successful hunt it flies with its insect on a thin branch, where it consumes the insect by hitting it vigorously on the branch a few times. The males feed the female during courtship. The nest is built fairly deep in a tree hollow or termite mound.

Sunbittern, Eurypyga helias

Eurypyga helias


Body length: 43 - 48 cm
Weight: 180 - 220 g
Incubation period: 27 - 30 days, 1 - 2 eggs
Food: insects, snails, fish, frogs and lizards
Life span: up to 15 years

It's unmistakably the Sunbittern. It flies low, alone or in pairs. It is always near the water and lives on the edge of the woods. When it feels threatened, it briefly opens its wings and surprises the enemy with two large eye-like spots that mark its plumage. When she feels threatened, she often fakes broken wings and tries to lure the enemy away from the nest.

Guira cuckoo, Guira guira

Guira guira

Guira cuckoo

Body length: 38 cm
Weight: 140 g
Incubation period: 9 - 16 days, 4 - 20 eggs (community nest)
Nahrung: small amphibians, mice, grasshoppers, eggs and chicks of other birds
Life span: 9 - 10 years

It lives in flocks of up to 20 birds, it does not lay its eggs in the nests of other birds, like the European cuckoos, but makes common nests, where everybody helps and guards the eggs. Together they take care of the offspring. Stealing eggs and chicks from the nests of other birds. Hunting often on the ground, with one of them always taking over the guard.

Grassland Yellow-finch, Sicalis luteola

Sicalis luteola

Grassland Yellow-finch

Body length: 8 - 12 cm
Weight: 14 - 18 g
Incubation period: 12 days, 3 - 4 eggs
Food: seeds and insects
Life span:

The Yellow-finch is a common species throughout South and Central America, occurring in open fields and grasslands in the Cerrado. It lays light blue-green eggs in a grassy cup nest in tall grass. Several pairs can breed close together in suitable areas.

Red-crested cardinal, Paroaria coronata

Paroaria coronata

Red-crested cardinal

Body length: 19 cm
Weight: 30 - 44 g
Incubation period: 14 days, 3 - 4 eggs
Food: berries, fruits, seeds and insects
Life span: 4 - 10 years

The generic name Paroaria comes from an indigenous Brazilian Tupí people and can be translated as «small red, yellow and grey bird». It belongs to the resident birds and it stays in the Pantanal all year round. During the breeding season it secures itself from smaller flocks. It sets up its red impressive crest in danger to deter its enemies.

Squirrel cuckoo, Piaya cayana

Piaya cayana

Squirrel cuckoo

Body length: 40 - 50 cm
Weight: 70 - 140 g
Incubation period: 40 days, 2 eggs
Food: insects, wasps and caterpillars, small birds, small lizards
Life span: -

They live individually or in pairs, especially in trees, and are always on the lookout for caterpillars and insects. They steal eggs and chicks from the nests of sparrows and other small birds. They can often be seen biding off startled insects fleeing from an army of ants. It can be found throughout Latin America.

Red pileated finch, Red-crested finch, Coryphospingus cucullatus

Coryphospingus cucullatus

Red pileated finch, Red-crested finch

Body length: 13.5 cm
Weight: 11 - 18 g
Incubation period: 11 - 12 days, 2 - 3 eggs
Food: insects, seeds, fruits, berries
Life span: -

This bird is widely distributed in South America. The distribution area includes southern Brazil and northern Argentina and extends from Brasília and Rio de Janeiro south to Buenos Aires and west to the foothills of the Andes. The male and the female can be recognized by their white rings around the eyes. The red comb, however, has only the male.

Scarlet flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus

Pyrocephalus rubinus

Scarlet flycatcher

Body length: 12 - 14 cm
Weight: 13 - 14 g
Incubation period: 12 - 14 days, 2 - 4  eggs
Food: insects
Life span: -

During breeding season the males defend the nest aggressively. Build a shell nest from animal hairs, grasses, twigs between branch forks and often use them several times. It has been observed that in old nests the breeding success is higher.

Smooth-billed ani, Crotophaga ani

Crotophaga ani

Smooth-billed ani

Body length: 35 cm
Weight: 80 - 220 g
Incubation period: 13 - 14 days, 9 - 50 eggs
Food: fruit, crickets and locusts, beetles
Life span: -

They live in large flocks at the edge of the forest. They eat fruits, crickets and grasshoppers from the ground, and there is always a bird as a guard at the lookout point. They follow wandering ants and catch winged termites. They act in solidarity when members of the group get into trouble. They build nests together for up to 50 eggs in several layers. Only a part of them hatches. All members of the group take part in raising the offspring.

White-eared puffbird, Nystalus chacuru

Nystalus chacuru

White-eared puffbird

Body length: 21 - 22 cm
Weight: 48 - 64 g
Incubation period: 15 days, 2 - 4 eggs
Food: insects and small vertebrates, such as lizards
Life span: -

In the reproductive-period, males and females sing, with what they answer the reputations of the other and form choirs of several pairs. It nests in deep holes which it digs in the ground and in these chambers the female lays 2 to 4 white and shiny eggs.

Black-throated Saltator, Saltator atricollis

Saltator atricollis

Black-throated Saltator

Body length: 20 - 21 cm
Weight: 53 g
Incubation period: 13 days, 2 - 3 eggs
Food: seeds, fruits, leaf shoots, crabs and insects
Life span: -

It lives in small flocks. It usually squats on low bushes and trees, sometimes on fences from which it descends to the ground in search of food.

Glittering-throated emerald, Amazilia fimbriata

Amazilia fimbriata

Glittering-throated emerald

Body length: 8 - 12 cm
Weight: 4 - 6 g
Incubation period: 14 - 17 days, 2 eggs
Food: flower nectar, small flies and beetles
Life span: 3 - 5 years

This hummingbird is striking, blue-pink, bronze-green-golden iridescent. It is often found on flowering trees in less dense, semi-open vegetation, like our gallery forest. It can be heard especially at dusk with its bright sounding, lively «tzi, tzi, tzi».

Yacare caiman

Caiman yacare

Yacare caiman

Body length: 250 cm
Weight: 60 kg
Incubation period: 85 - 90 days, 14 - 40 eggs
Food: piranhas, sometimes waterfowl
Life span: about 60 years

The Kayaman moves very skilfully in the water. On land you can see it dozing mostly in the sun. Now and then a butterfly sits on the eyelid, because it smells of nectar. Through the trunk of the butterfly the eye is cleaned.

Gold tegu, Goldteju, Tupinambis teguixin

Tupinambis teguixin

Gold tegu

Body length: up to 140 cm
Weight: up to 4 kg
Incubation period: 165 days, 30 - 50 eggs
Food: smaller reptiles, eggs, small vertebrates, fruits
Life span: up to 20 years

Eggs are often laid in a broken termite burrow, as there is a constant temperature. The gold tegu inhabit forests, fields and the Cerrado. They live in holes in the ground, usually also under large exposed roots.

Green iguana, Iguana iguana

Iguana iguana

Green iguana

Body length: up to 150 cm with tail
Weight: 1.2 - 4 kg
Incubation period: 56 days, 30 eggs
Food: leaves, flowers and ripe fruit
Life span: 15 - 17 years

The iguana lives in humid forests near water. On the banks of rivers they let the sun shine on them. They are very good swimmers. The males have a strongly enlarged horny scale in the cheek area, the females a small one.

Pantanal swamp turtle, Acanthochelys macrocephala

Acanthochelys macrocephala

Pantanal swamp turtle

Body length: 20 - 23 cm
Weight: 1 kg
Incubation period: 180 days, 1 - 4 young
Food: snails, small fresh water fish, insects, spiders
Life span: -

The swamp turtle is a freshwater turtle found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay. Unlike the tortoise, which is a vegetarian, the water turtle prefers animal food. Young pond turtles have an orange-black coloured underside as in the picture above. This colour fades with increasing age. The female is larger than the male.

Boa constrictor

Boa constrictor

Boa constrictor

Body length: 150 cm - 300 cm
Weight: 250 - 350 g
Food: mammals, hatchlings and eggs
Life span: up to 30 years

The nocturnal royal boa lives on the ground and on trees. It knows two hunting strategies: it actively hunts its prey by following the scent trail or it lies in wait and snaps when its food is close enough. Then the prey is wrapped around her and squeezed together so that the victim's circulation breaks down. If she can no longer feel their heartbeat, it lets go of the prey and devours it by unhooking its jaws and always swallowing it head first.

Yellow anaconda in the Pantanal

Eunectes noctaeus

Yellow anaconda

Body length: 2 - 5 m, females are larger than males
Weight: 25 - 35 kg
Gestation period: 6 months
Food: birds, eggs, small mammals, turtles, fish, capybaras and caimans
Life span: 20 years

The anaconda digests slowly and can survive for a long time without food. It is non-toxic and strangles its prey. During the sexual act the female copulates with several males in a row. It likes to be in water as well as on trees.

Bothrops, Bothrops mattogrossensis

Bothrops mattogrossensis


Body length: 50 - 100 cm
Weight: 100 - 250 g
Food: Rodents, frogs and toads


This species can be recognized by the contrasting trapezoidal shapes on its back. If you encounter one, let it pass in peace. They are highly poisonous. They flatten their backs in danger. They belong to the pit vipers and therefore have two heat-sensitive pit organs under the upper jaw with which they find their prey even in complete darkness. It is viviparous.

Black pseudoboa, Pseudoboa nigra

Pseudoboa nigra

Black pseudoboa

Body length: 50 - 100 cm
Weight: 100 - 250 g
Food: mainly lizards

The diurnal Black Pseudoboa is a non-toxic snake. It preys mainly on reptiles through its poisonous saliva. It moves on trees as well as on the ground.

Leptophis ahaetulla, parrot snake, Leptophis ahaetulla

Leptophis ahaetulla

Leptophis ahaetulla, parrot snake

Body length: 90 - 200 cm
Weight: 100 - 250 g
Food: young birds, tree frogs, geckos, lizards

The saliva of the Leptophis ahaetulla is weakly poisonous, so it is used mainly to chase small animals living in trees. It is active during the day and can be found on all levels of the trees. The iris of the eyes is yellowish. It is an excellent tree and shrub climber. In case of danger it opens its mouth wide.

Aquatic coral snake, Micrurus surinamensis

Micrurus surinamensis

Aquatic coral snake

Body length: 50 - 100 cm
Weight: 100 - 250 g
Food: fish, frogs

Micrurus surinamensis is a semi-aquatic species of coral snake. It has a red head with a black rim. It has black rings that are wider than the others. It is egg-laying and poisonous.

Coluber poecilogyrus, Liophis poecilogyrus

Liophis poecilogyrus

Coluber poecilogyrus

Body length: 40 - 60 cm
Weight: 100 - 150 g
Food: frogs, insects

The Coluber poecilogyrus snake is a ground living, quite common snake in the Pantanal. It is non-toxic, like all viper species (Colubridae). Its Portuguese name is «Mata-Cavalo» i.e. «horse killer» is completely absurd, probably it was assumed in former times that it was responsible for snake bites on horses. It lays 6 to 15 eggs in her bottom nest.

Velvet Swampsnake, Liophis typhlus

Liophis typhlus

Velvet swampsnake

Body length: 50 - 85 cm
Weight: 100 - 160 g
Food: frogs

It is a day and ground snake. It feeds mainly on frogs, it is an egg-laying species and lays between two and five eggs. When it feels threatened, it flattens its body and widens it so that it appears larger, hides its head under its body and can expel stinking excrement through its cloaca. It does not show aggressive behaviour when threatened. Like all vipers (Colubridae) it is non-toxic.

Spilotes pullatus, Chicken snake, Caninana, Spilotes pullatus

Spilotes pullatus

Spilotes pullatus, Chicken snake, Caninana

Body length: 200 - 300 cm
Weight: 250 - 350 g
Food: mammals, birds, birds' eggs, amphibians and other snakes

The chicken snake can be found on the ground as well as on trees. It is active during the day and lives predominantly in trees. In distress it defends itself by biting. Its name is probably due to the fact that its size allows it to prey on chickens. It lays between 15 and 25 eggs.

Pink lapacho, Pink ipê, Pink trumpet tree, Handroanthus impetiginosus

Handroanthus impetiginosus

Pink lapacho, Pink ipê, Pink trumpet tree

Distribution:  southern North America to northern South America
Flower colour: mainly magenta, white also possible
Plant height: 30 - 35 m

The lapacho tree belongs to the trumpet tree family. The tree has many names. In Brazil it is called Ipê-roxo, which in the Guarani culture means «possessing strength and vitality». The tree stands out in August for about 7 to 10 days with its pink blossoms in the normally green dominated Pantanal. There is also a lapacho species in the Pantanal that forms yellow petals. Substances in its bark are also used in cancer research.

Santa Cruz water lily, Victoria cruziana

Victoria cruziana

Santa Cruz water lily, Victoria cruziana

Distribution: in many parts of South America; Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil
Flower colour: white - light pink
Plant height: up to 20 cm high edges

The Victoria giant water lily only blooms for two days. On the first day the flower is white and changes to a light pink on the second day. In order to protect themselves against predators, they are covered with spines on their underside. The floating leaves have a diameter of up to 1.70 m. The ingenious arrangement of the leaf veins on the underside, carry animals of up to 10 kg without the leaves collapsing or tearing. Even a person of 70 kg, evenly distributed over the entire leaf, could carry the load for some time. In space and aviation, this rib system is therefore used for constructions.

Common water hyacinth, Eichhornia Crassipes

Eichhornia crassipes

Common water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes

Distribution: Brazil, Florida, California, South East Asia, Australia, India, Africa, Spain, Italy, Portugal
Flower colour: steel-blue, light purple 
Plant height: 50 cm (above the water)

The steel blue to light purple flowers of the water hyacinth overgrow the water holes in the Pantanal in warm summer months. They double their growth area on the water surface in only 2 weeks. This makes them both a curse and a blessing. Because they cut off the oxygen from the plankton and plants and thus contribute to silting up, they are not welcome. On the other hand, they clean the water of toxic substances in the water, which is why they are used in Bangladesh to remove arsenic from the water. In Africa, successful attempts are being made to use a weevil against the proliferation of the water hyacinth.

Strangler fig, Figueira-mata-pau, Ficus clusiifolia

Ficus clusiifolia

Ficus clusiifolia

Distribution: Tropical and subtropical regions of South America
Flower colour: the closed fruit is at the same time the blossom
Plant height: 7 - 18 m

The strangler fig is fast growing and grows up to 2 m in 2 years. Its seeds are excreted undigested by birds. As a result, it grows on its host tree and drives its aerial roots down into the soil. The host tree dies sometimes because it cuts off its nutrients. Therefore, dead trees can often be seen inside. The pulverized ashes of burnt young stems are used to treat diarrheal diseases in children. The fruits of the ficus (Moracea) are at the same time the flowers which do not bloom. The wasps of the family Agaonidae carry the pollination inside in closed flowers/fruits. This is why it has so many fruits, of which only a few are pollinated.

Rodovia Transpantaneira
Km 38
78175-000 Poconé
Mato Grosso, Brasil

S 16° 33'' 5'
W 56° 43'' 12'

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