Flora and Fauna of Guyana

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Guyana’s Victoria Amazonica No Longer World’s Largest Water Lily

Guyana’s National Flower, the Victoria Amazonica, has lost its record as the world’s largest water lily. Up to July, 2022, the Victoria Amazonica had boasted the title of the world’s largest water lily. However, a new water lily, called the Victoria Boliviana, has blown the Victoria Amazonica out the water and taken its spot as the world’s largest water lily.

Hoplias Aimara, Known in Guyana as the Haimara or Wolf Fish

The species of freshwater fish, Hoplias Aimara, is known in Guyana as the haimara or wolf fish. In other parts of the world, it is called anjumara, traira, trahira, manjuma, anjoemara, and wolf fish. The haimara is a freshwater fish which grows to more than 4 feet in length, but the average length is 3 feet. It weighs on average 88 lbs. The haimara is native to northern South American countries including Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, French Guiana, and Suriname. It is also found in the rivers of neighboring Trinidad and Tobago.

The Tarpon Fish, Locally Called Cuffum

The tarpon may be described as a “euryhaline species” because it can survive in a wide variety of salinity and therefore lives in both the ocean and in fresh waters. The tarpon breeds mostly in the oceans in salt water. The females can lay up to 12 million eggs at once. They spawn their eggs between the months of March and July. Tarpons tend to swim upriver from the ocean and often inhabit rivers, creeks, tidal pools, and salt marshes. Some return to the ocean but others stay in freshwater locations.

The Giant Anteater – The World’s Largest Anteater

Guyana is known as the land of the giants, and the giant anteater, the world’s largest anteater, is one of the six or seven reasons why. The giant anteater goes by the scientific name Myrmecophaga tridactyla. It is a mammal which feeds on insects and has an average lifespan of 14 years. About two to three feet in height, the giant anteater weighs between 40 and 140 pounds. The giant anteater can reach as long as eight feet from the tip of its snout to the end of its tail.

The Victoria Amazonica, Guyana’s National Flower

The flower of Victoria Amazonica, previously called the Victoria Regia, and also known as the Giant Water Lily is Guyana’s National Flower. Victoria Amazonica is the world’s second largest water lily with its leaves measuring a whooping 10 feet in diameter floating on the surface of the water. The stalk of the Victoria Amazonica extends as much as 26 feet (8 meters) below the surface of the water. The flower of the Victoria Amazonica, which it bears almost every week during the summer months, is also the largest flower in the world. The flower of the Victoria Amazonica stays in blossom for just two to three days – long enough to facilitate pollination.

The Arapaima – the World’s Largest Freshwater Fish

Guyana is known as the land of the giants, and the arapaima, the world’s largest freshwater fish, is one of the reasons why. The arapaima is a “gentle giant” with a suction power that is damaging to smaller fish up to four feet away. The arapaima can grow as long as 3 meters and weigh up to 440 pounds. In 2015, a monster arapaima was caught in Guyana which weighed 416 pounds!