Animals in Brazil

Below you can find a complete list of Brazilian animals. We currently track 243 animals in Brazil and are adding more every day!

You can see many exotic animals in Brazil if you visit the forests, savannahs, and wetlands as each has different wildlife living in them. Brazil has one of the highest numbers of terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates of any country in the world. At least 524 species of mammals, 3,000 fish species, and 78 species of primates. Additionally, there are at least 517 amphibian species, 3,150 butterfly species, and 1,622 bird species. There are over 200 endangered species in the country, with over 80% of them living in the Atlantic Forest. Yet, over 90% of this forest has been cleared. Poaching remains a massive problem in the country.

The Official National Animal of Brazil

Brazil does not have an official national animal. Yet, many people consider it the jaguar, which is also called the Brazilian panther. This national animal is seen as the top animal of the forest ecosystem. It is a solitary animal that quietly stalks its prey. In many ways, the national animal is like the people of Brazil. The country tends to be very independent and takes great pride in its territorial resources.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Brazil

Tourists often come to Brazil to see the top wildlife. Unfortunately, some of the weird and unique animals are in danger of becoming extinct. These unique animals include:

  • Jaguar –The jaguar lives in various ecosystems in Brazil, including rainforests, savannas, and grasslands. Look for them in the Amazon Basin and the Brazilian Pantanal.
  • Giant armadillo – You can find this elusive animal in many areas of Brazil, including the Amazon, Atlantic Forest, and Cerrado biomes. Still, it may be going extinct in the southern part of Brazil.
  • Brazilian tapir – This species of the rhinoceros family is in great danger of going extinct, but look for them in the Pantanal.
  • Giant anteater – You can find giant anteaters in many parts of Brazil, including Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Tocantins, Minas Gerais and the Federal District.
  • Maned wolf – You may be able to catch a glimpse of this solitary nocturnal hunter in Brazil’s grasslands, scrub prairies, forests, or savannas, especially in the Carrado.
  • Giant otter – This animal lives along creeks and rivers in the Amazon rainforest
  • Ocelot – Look for ocelots stalking prey from trees or grasslands in the Amazon Rainforest.
  • Common marmoset – This small primate that seldom grows to be over 7-inches tall lives in Sugarloaf Mountain and Tijuca National Park.
  • Capybara – Look for capybaras, the largest member of the rodent family in many locations, including the Amazon Rainforest and city rivers.
  • Southern Tamandua – Look for southern tamanduas dining on insects in the tropical forests, mangroves, and savannas, like the Brazilian Pantanal.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Brazil Today

Most people visit Brazil and have no trouble with its unique animals. Of course, you will want to avoid visiting Ilha da Queimada Grande because it has the world’s highest concentration of poisonous snakes, and people are forbidden to go there. Yet, there are a few dangerous animals that you will want to be careful of encountering. In most cases, it is not the weird or unique animals that are dangerous, but those that live in residential areas.

  • Dogs – Approximately 544,000 people are bitten annually by dogs in Brazil.
  • Cats – Approximately 86,500 people are bitten annually by cats. Additionally, their scratches can cause deadly fungus diseases.
  • Bats – Approximately 4,900 people are bitten annually by bats.
  • Primates – Different primates bite about 4,000 people annually.

Endangered Animals In Brazil

Brazil is home to many endangered animals. The vast majority of them are found in the Amazon Rainforest. Many of these amazing and weird animals live nowhere else on earth. They include:

  • Glaucous macaw
  • Brumback’s night monkey
  • Nancy Ma’s night monkey
  • Blue-throated macaw
  • White-bellied spider monkey
  • Variegated spider monkey
  • White-cheeked spider monkey
  • Carabaya stubfoot toad
  • Quito stubfoot toad
  • San Martin titi monkey
  • Ka’apor capuchin
  • Amazon giant glass frog
  • White-nosed saki

Brazilian Animals

Amazon Parrot

These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech

Anaconda

They are the heaviest snake in the world

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Anteater

Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!

Arapaima

One of the largest freshwater fish

Armadillo

Can curl into a hard, protective ball!

Armyworm

They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Banjo Catfish

The banjo catfish is extremely shy and known for hiding from onlookers.

Barb

There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bear

There are 8 different species!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.

Bee

Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Blind Snake

The blind snake is often mistaken for a worm.

Bobolink

In spring, the male bobolink is the only North American bird who is dark below and light colored above. This makes identification easy.

Brazilian Terrier

Small body and tri-coloured coat!

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Burrowing Owl

The burrowing owl lives in underground burrows

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Caecilian

Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin

Caiman

Can grow to up 6 meters long!

Caiman Lizard

Caiman lizards are among the largest lizards.

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.

Capybara

Excellent at both diving and swimming

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Coati

Found in dense forests and wet jungles!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

Coral Snake

There are over 80 species of coral snake worldwide.

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Cricket

Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Crow

A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Discus

One of the only schooling Cichlids!

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Dubia Cockroach

The most popular species of feeder roach

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earthworm

They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Electric Eel

Despite its powerful shock, electric eels have terrible vision.

Emperor Tamarin

Has an elegant white moustache!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.

False coral snake

The false coral snake mimics both the coral snake and the cobra to scare away predators

False Water Cobra

There are several color morphs, including lavender!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fer-de-lance Snake

The Most Dangerous Snake in the Americas

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.

Fila Brasileiro

The breed has a unique, cat-like gait, while females have a finer gait than males.

Firefly

The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Giant Armadillo

Armadillos have a smell that’s described as strong, sweet and acrid.

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Gnat

Males form large mating swarms at dusk

Golden Lancehead

Golden lancehead snakes climb trees to prey on birds.

Golden Lion Tamarin

Native to the eastern rainforests of Brazil!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Anaconda

Females are often five times longer than males.

Grouper

Many grouper can change their sex, and it is always from female to male.

Guppy

Also known as the Millionfish!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Harpy Eagle

Talon's the size of a grizzly bear's claws!

Harris Hawk

Their vision is eight times better than a human's

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.

Hercules Beetle

This dynastine scarab beetle makes a weird huffing sound when it’s disturbed.

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Hognose snake

Prima Donnas of the Snake World

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Horned Frog

Natively found in South America!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

House wren

The wren’s epithet, aedon, comes from a Greek queen who accidentally killed her only son. She was actually aiming for her nephew, and Zeus took pity on her and turned her into a nightingale.

Housefly

The fly has no teeth

Howler Monkey

Spends 80% of it's time resting!

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Hummingbird

Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Iguana

Uses visual signals to communicate!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jacana

The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jaguar

The largest feline on the American continent!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kinder Goat

Best jumper of all goats

King Vulture

The king vulture is the second largest New World vulture species

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Kinkajou

The kinkajou is a nimble forest-dwelling mammal of Central and South America.

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Lizardfish

The lizardfish can camouflage itself against the sandy bottom to avoid predators.

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Lone Star Tick

Only females have the ‘lone star’ marking

Macaw

The largest species of parrot in the world!

Maggot

Will only live in wet areas

Mallard

With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day

Maned Wolf

Despite its name, the Maned Wolf is not actually a wolf.

Marine Toad

Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Mexican Eagle (Northern crested caracara)

The northern crested caracara mates for life with its partner

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Some colonies have millions of bats

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.

Molly

Known for their calm and peaceful nature!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Mosquito

Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mountain Lion

Has no real natural predators!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Needlefish

no stomach to digest food

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Ocelot

Also known as the Painted Leopard!

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Oscar Fish

The Oscar fish has teeth in its throat!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Panther

Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Parrotlet

Parrotlets aren't the world's tiniest parrot — that would be the pygmy parrot of Australasia.

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pied Tamarin

Only found in one area of Brazil!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Amazon River Dolphin (Pink Dolphin)

Also known as the 'Pink Dolphin'

Piranha

Generally found in fast-flowing streams!

Platinum Arowana

The male broods the eggs and baby fish in his mouth.

Poison Dart Frog

Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!

Polka Dot Stingray

Can detect electrical fields from other creatures

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

Puma

Has longer back legs than front legs!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Quetzal

The tail feathers of the male can be 1m long!

Raccoon

Known to wash their food before eating it!

Rainbow Boa

The rainbow boa is named for its iridescent skin that refracts light and creates a rainbow-colored effect.

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.

Rattlesnake

It's venom digests it's prey before it even swallows it!

Red-handed Tamarin

Red hair on hands on feet!

Redtail Catfish

One of three giant catfish species

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

Roseate Spoonbill

The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Scarlet Macaw

Like many parrots, the scarlet macaw is capable of vocal mimicry.

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shrew

The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Silver Dollar

Closely related to the Piranha

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Skunk

Also known as the Polecat!

Sloth

It's body temperature is between 30 - 34 degrees!

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Snapping Turtle

Only found in North America!

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Monkey

Found in the tropical jungles of South America!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Squirrel Monkey

Lives in groups of up to 500 individuals!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stork

They can’t sing like other birds.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tapir

Most closely related to horses and rhinos!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Tetra

Native to the freshwater streams of South America!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tick

They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Toucan

There are more than 40 different species!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Uakari

Have a very short tail for their size!

Umbrellabird

Migrates up and down the mountains!

Unau (Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth)

Its top speed is 0.17mph

Urutu Snake

The female Urutu snake grows longer and heavier than males of the same species

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Whiptail Lizard

Many whiptail species reproduce asexually.

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Wood Turtle

Temperature determines the sex of turtle eggs

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Woolly Monkey

Has a long, strong prehensile tail!

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

X-Ray Tetra

Yellow, black and white striped fins!

Yarara

Females are much larger than males

Yellow Anaconda

Anacondas take prey much bigger compared to body weight than other snakes.

Zebra Pleco

The zebra pleco is a bottom feeder with a sucker mouth.

Brazilian Animals List

Animals in Brazil FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Kind of Animals Live in Brazil?

Many different kinds of animals live in Brazil because of the diverse ecosystems found there. The country is home to the world’s largest rodent, the capybara. It is also home to the world’s second-largest flightless bird, the rhear and the pink dolphin, one of the world’s largest river dolphins.

What Exotic Animals Live in Brazil?

Many exotic animals live in Brazil. Many people travel here to see Brazil’s Big Five, the Brazilian tapir, giant anteater, maned wolf, giant river otter, and jaguar.

What is the Biggest Animal in Brazil?

One of the biggest animals in Brazil is the spectacled bear. This bear can weigh up to 355 pounds and stand up to almost 6-feet tall. This species lives mainly in the cloud forests in southeastern Brazil. It dines on fruit and is a solitary animal. Researchers estimate that there are only about 18,000 spectacled bears left in the wild.

What Animals Live in the Brazilian Amazon?

The Brazilian Amazon is home to many animals. Many of these animals are just now being discovered, and scientists have a lot more work to do. Since 1999, they have found more than 2,000 new plants and animals.

What Animals Live in the Brazilian Rainforest?

Many different types of animals live in the rainforest, and scientists are discovering more all the time. One of the most amazing is the Caqueta titi monkey, whose young purr like cats when they are content. Another is the Tometes camunani, a fish that can be up to 20-inches wide and weigh 9 pounds.