Igarapé do Daracua near Barcelos, Brazil

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Brazil, Amazonas, Barcelos

Igarapé do Daracua near Barcelos is a municipality named after the village Daracua in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, characterized by lush rainforests, pristine rivers, and an abundance of wildlife. One of the prominent natural features in the region is the igarapé, a term used in Brazil to describe a small, narrow river or stream that flows through the rainforest.

The Igarapé do Daracua near Barcelos is a mesmerizing waterway that winds its way through the dense Amazon rainforest. It is surrounded by tall trees, vibrant green vegetation, and variety of exotic plant species, creating a breathtaking tropical landscape.

The water in the Igarapé is usually clear and teeming with life, ranging from colorful tropical fish to elusive river dolphins. It is an important water source for the local communities, as well as a vital habitat for numerous species of flora and fauna. It serves as a lifeline for many plants and animals with foods and water.

Submitted by
Protim Sarkar
Approved by
Roberto E. Reis, Pablo C. Lehmann and Flávio Lima
-0.5067783, -63.2144890
Geographical region
South America
Drainage Basin
Amazon River Basin
River catchment
Rio Negro
Water body type
Water body name
Igarapé do Daracua
Water body part
River mouth
Water body course
Lower course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Rio Negro

Videos above and below water

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Black water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
25-27 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

71 mg/l
89 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen
0.0002 %

Substrate in nature

Stone form
Submerged terrestrial vegetation

Aquatic Biotope

Date of collecting
Collecting area
Water depth
Air temperature
24 °C
Filtered/dappled sun


Affected by human activity
Affected by human activity
Surrounding area

Igarapé do Daracua near Barcelos, Middle Rio Negro is a municipality named after the village Daracua in the state of Amazonas, Brazil.The Rio Negro, which translates to “Black River” in English, is a major tributary of the Amazon River.

Here are some features and surrounding areas of the Rio Negro:

Amazon rainforest: The Rio Negro flows through the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. The surrounding area is characterized by dense tropical rainforest, home to a vast array of plant and animal species.

Anavilhanas Archipelago: Located in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, the Anavilhanas Archipelago is a cluster of islands formed by the Rio Negro. It is the world’s largest freshwater archipelago and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is known for its stunning natural beauty, wildlife, and opportunities for eco-tourism.

Manaus: The city of Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, is located near the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Amazon River. It serves as a major gateway to the Amazon Rainforest and is a hub for exploring the region. Manaus is known for its iconic opera house, the Teatro Amazonas, which reflects the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Meeting of the waters: One of the most fascinating features of the Rio Negro is its meeting with the Amazon River. Just outside of Manaus, the two rivers flow side by side without immediately mixing, creating a unique natural phenomenon known as the Meeting of the Waters. The stark contrast in color between the dark waters of the Rio Negro and the muddy brown waters of the Amazon is a sight to behold.

Indigenous communities: The surrounding areas of the Rio Negro are home to various indigenous communities that have inhabited the region for centuries. These communities have deep cultural ties to the river and the rainforest, relying on its resources for their livelihoods and preserving traditional ways of life.

Ecotourism and wildlife: The Rio Negro and its surrounding areas offer exceptional opportunities for ecotourism and wildlife observation. Visitors can explore the river and its tributaries, go on guided boat tours, and engage in activities such as birdwatching, wildlife spotting, and fishing.

Protected areas: There are several protected areas and national parks in the vicinity of the Rio Negro, aimed at preserving the unique ecosystems and biodiversity of the region. These include the Jaú National Park, the Anavilhanas National Park, and the Rio Negro State Park, among others.

The surrounding areas of the Rio Negro offer a remarkable blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and biodiversity. It is an ideal destination for those seeking an immersive experience in the Amazon Rainforest and a deeper understanding of the region’s rich ecosystems and indigenous cultures.

Underwater landscape

The underwater landscape of the Igarapé is characterized by unique features and distinct aquatic ecosystems. Here are some key aspects of the underwater landscape:

Dark waters: This area of the biotope is known for its dark, almost black, water coloration, which is caused by the high concentration of dissolved organic matter. This gives the river its name, Rio Negro, meaning “Black River” in Portuguese. The dark waters create a distinct visual experience underwater, with reduced visibility compared to clearer rivers.

Tannin staining: The dark color of the Igarapé is due to the presence of tannins released by decaying organic matter in the surrounding forests. These tannins stain the water, giving it a tea-like appearance. The underwater landscape is marked by this unique visual characteristic, which creates an otherworldly ambiance.

Riverbed topography: The riverbed of the Igarapé is relatively flat and sandy, with occasional patches of rocks and fallen trees. The river has a meandering nature, with numerous channels, sandbars, and submerged vegetation. These features create diverse habitats for aquatic plants, fish, and other aquatic organisms.

Sunken forests: Along the Igarapé, there are submerged forests where tall trees are partially or completely submerged in the water. These sunken forests create an eerie and captivating underwater landscape, with branches and roots providing shelter and habitat for fish, invertebrates, and microorganisms.

Biodiversity: The Igarapé and its underwater landscape are home to a remarkable diversity of aquatic life. The river supports a vast array of fish species, including iconic species such as the Petitella bleheri and Paracheirodon axelrodi.

Unique adaptations: The underwater life in the Igarapé has adapted to the specific conditions of dark and acidic waters. Many fish species have developed specialized sensory adaptations to navigate and find prey in low-visibility environments. Additionally, some fish species display vibrant colors as a means of communication and recognition in the dark waters.

Fish list:

  • Paracheirodon axelrodi (Characidae)
  • Petitella bleheri (Characidae)
  • Apistogramma mendezi (Cichlidae)
  • Prionobrama filigera (Characidae)
  • Crenuchus spilurus (Crenuchidae)
  • Nannostomus eques (Lebiasinidae)
  • Poecilocharax weitzmani (Crenuchidae)
  • Liosomadoras oncinus (Auchenipteridae)
  • Dicrossus filamentosus (Cichlidae)
  • Wallaciia notophthalmus (Cichlidae)
  • Mesonauta festivus (Cichlidae)
  • Lugubria marmorata (Cichlidae)
  • Heros notatus (Cichlidae)

Aquatic plants:

  • Echinodorus horizontalis (Alismataceae)
  • Helanthium tenellum (Alismataceae)
  • Eleocharis montevidensis (Cyperaceae)
Threats to ecology

The River and its surrounding ecosystem face various threats that can have a significant impact on the ecology of the region. Some of the key threats include:

Deforestation: One of the most significant threats to the Amazon River ecology is deforestation. Large-scale clearing of forests for agriculture, logging, mining, and urbanization destroys the natural habitat of numerous plant and animal species. Deforestation also contributes to climate change by releasing significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Illegal logging: Illegal logging is a major issue in the Amazon region. It involves the unauthorized cutting and trade of valuable timber species, leading to the destruction of vast areas of forest. This activity disrupts the natural balance of the ecosystem and contributes to habitat loss.

Mining: Mining activities, particularly for gold, in the Amazon region can have devastating effects on the environment. The use of heavy machinery, chemical pollutants, and the release of mercury into rivers and streams from illegal gold mining operations contaminates water sources and harms aquatic life.

Climate change: The Amazon rainforest plays a vital role in regulating the Earth’s climate by absorbing and storing vast amounts of carbon dioxide. However, climate change poses a threat to the region. Rising temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and increased frequency and intensity of droughts and wildfires can disrupt the delicate ecological balance of the Amazon River and its surrounding forests.

Dam construction: The construction of large dams, such as the Belo Monte Dam, can have severe ecological consequences. Dams disrupt the natural flow of rivers, alter the habitats of fish and other aquatic species, and affect the migration patterns of certain animals. They can also lead to the displacement of indigenous communities that depend on the river for their livelihoods.

Pollution: Industrial activities, agricultural runoff, and human settlements can contribute to pollution in the Amazon River. Chemical pollutants, including pesticides and fertilizers, find their way into the water, posing a threat to aquatic ecosystems and the species that inhabit them.

Invasive species: The introduction of non-native species, either intentionally or accidentally, can disrupt the native ecosystems of the Amazon River. Invasive species can outcompete native species for resources and alter the natural balance of the ecosystem, leading to a decline in biodiversity.

Efforts are being made by governments, conservation organizations, and local communities to address these threats and protect the ecology of the Amazon River. Conservation initiatives, sustainable land-use practices, stricter enforcement of environmental regulations, and the involvement of local communities in conservation efforts are crucial in mitigating these threats and preserving this unique and important ecosystem.

Riparian zone

Trees near the aquatic habitat
Many -

Comment by the expert

Roberto E. Reis: Description of the location well done, with mentions to the surroundings. Description of threats to ecology very general, of Amazon wide-scope, and not much applicable to mid Negro River. One photo and link to a video by other author. Three plant and 13 fish species listed; no invertebrates. Description of the aquatic habitat, riparian zone, and underwater landscape quite detailed. Bibliography/Sitography reasonable.

Flávio Lima: The participant has done a good survey of internet resources and aquarium magazines. Some research on scientific literature would be a plus, but not fundamental.

Pablo C. Lehmann: The information provided about Igarapé do Daracua is detailed and appears to be of high quality and reliability. The description of the site is comprehensive, providing an excellent overview of Igarapé do Daracua and its surroundings.