What’s new in Ictio data

December 17th, 2020


As of September 2020, Ictio had 38 001 observations in 20 089 checklists uploaded via the app and the web platform. This is the result of 240 users and institutions sharing data. This data comes from 148 sub-basins in the Amazon, representing 74% of the total of 199 sub-basins at BL4 level (according to Venticinque et al. 2016 and A New GIS-Based River Basin Framework for Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation in the Amazon). This is 620 more observations (a 2% increase) compared to data as of July 3, 2020. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is noticeable.


Map 1
Map 1

Via Ictio app, users recorded a total of 3664 fishing lists with 7167 fish observations. The most observed fish species is still Prochilodus nigricans, present in 20% of submitted lists. Second place is a tie between Mylossoma duriventre and Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum, both present in 13% of the lists (for common names see glossary below).


Five sub-basins have already had more than 500 observations uploaded via Ictio application: Amazonas/Solimões (between Juruá and Negro, Brazil); Pachitea (Peru); Madre de Dios (up Tambopata, Peru); and the sub-basins of Putumayo (up Igaro Paraná, Colombia) and Amazonas (up Jandiatuba, Peru to the border between Brazil, Colombia and Peru)- the last two have already exceeded one thousand observations!


How does the Ictio app contribute to field work? A Brazilian user tells us about his fishing observations in 2020:

"We are a bit isolated because of the pandemic, we try not to leave the community or let people from outside come in. Now we are resuming our activities. But everything we were able to do with fishing records, we did. In our community we don't have the habit of fishing for sale. We rather fish for our own food, for going to school or working in the plantations, to make [and eat with] the cassava flour. Now it’s sowing season and we fish to feed the working group. Fishing we save money and have no need to buy chicken. There is a beach in front of our community, and the river has been transformed into a narrower channel - it's good for fishing. We are getting matrinxã (Brycon amazonicus), pirapitinga (Piaractus brachypomus). There are many pacu (Mylossoma duriventre), sardinha (Triportheus sp.) and curimatã (Prochilodus nigricans). All of that besides caparari (Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum) and surubim (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum), which we fish a lot. Fishing is abundant and we keep on with our records in Ictio!"  - (Not familiar with those common names? See the glossary below).


Up to date, users registered via the platform Ictio.org a total of 16 425 fishing lists with 30 834 fish observations. Fronteiras Institute (Brazil) made an important contribution to the Ictio database, uploading records from the Juruá River basin. These observations correspond to more than 300 tons of fish reported between 2018 and 2020. The fish species with the highest number of kilos recorded were Curimata inornata, Prochilodus nigricans and Pimelodus sp respectively (for common names see glossary below). The weights were estimated from fishermen's statements about the average monthly catch - which was added up and presented as annual catch.


"Our data comes from yearly fishermen catch registers made by the Z-1 Colony [in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil] to be sent to the Federal Secretariat of Fisheries. This data accounts catches of different fishermen, over several days, in an undefined location, orally specified by each fisherman at the time of annual registration. Therefore, this is not data from an extensive collection, collected with a clear scientific methodology, but comes from the daily experience and memory of each fisherman. They may present inconsistencies in terms of fishing effort, quantity of kilos caught per year, date and place of sale, but not in relation to the species caught. In view of the lack of systematization of fishing data for this region, it is believed that the collected data, even in the face of the possibility of inconsistencies, will be of great importance for the mapping of fisheries in the Juruá Valley" - Fronteiras Institute.


Mamirauá Institute (Brazil) also uploaded  336 observations of 40 different species or genera collected between 2006 and 2007 through inventories carried out in the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve. These inventories were carried out specifically in igarapés. "Iguarapés are small streams formed in tierra firme , in higher areas, and are characterized by a well-defined riverbed. They form a dense network of water bodies and represent an important drainage area of the Amazon Basin [...] Fish communities in igarapés are formed by very old taxonomic groups and mainly small species, which have small rates of displacement. In general, there are mainly Characiform species, followed by Siluriforms, Perciformes and Gymnotiformes", reveals the publication "Peixes ornamentais do Amanã" (2009, p 24 - available in Portuguese) (for common names see glossary below).

Data quality to improve Ictio use


The Citizen Science for the Amazon Network’s Fish Collaboration Group conducted an expert review of the data collected as of June 2020 through the Ictio application in order to verify data quality. This review focused on 3 variables: weight, price and photography, and had the following objectives:

  • Evaluate whether the weights entered in the observations exceeded the maximum known weight for a given species in the Amazon Basin.
  • Evaluate whether the prices entered in the observations exceeded the maximum known price for a given species in a given country in the Amazon Basin.
  • Evaluate whether the photographs accompanying the observations matched the species indicated in the record.
  • Finally, identify the observations whose information does not correspond to actual fishing data: For example, application updates tests or observations sent as examples during the fishermen groups training. 

By the end of this review, out of 6922 observations, 679 were identified as having inserted information of doubtful quality in some of the evaluated variables, and 381 observations as corresponding to application tests. In order to improve the information recording through the Ictio application, a recommendations document was prepared for Network partners and application promoters.


We share some graphs to visualize the data to September 2020. The BL4 Basin Scale Core Data Set is available for download at Ictio.org:

Map 1
Map 1

As of September 2020, 20 089 lists with 38,001 observations were uploaded via the Ictio app  and website.. This data comes from 148 sub-basins in the Amazon, representing 74% of the total of 199 sub-basins at BL4 level (according to Venticinque et al. 2016).

Map 2
Map 2

Out of a total of 7167 fish observations shared via Ictio app, 5803 (80%) belong to the 20 priority species. The remaining 20% (1364 observations) are from the "Fish Sp'' category, which gathers all observations of fish not listed as priority in the app. Among the priority species, Prochilodus nigricans is the species with the most observations - almost twice as many as the second most observed species (Mylossoma duriventre). Only 50 observations of Brachyplatystoma vailantii were reported. The information was generated from data submitted by 234 Ictio users.

Glossary of species, genera and orders mentioned in this article


  • Order Characiformes: "Fishes with the body covered with scales. Mouth in variable position, usually terminal. Swimming with soft rays; the dorsal located in the middle of the body or after it; adipose fin usually present, rarely absent. Complete lateral line. Absence of thorns in the ventral region" (García et al, 2018 , p. 47 - available in Spanish ).
  • Order Gymnotiformes:"[...] characterized mainly by having electric organs, extremely elongated body; absence of dorsal and pelvic fins; wider anal fin with wavy movement, which allows fish to swim forward and backward; absent caudal fin, or, when present, very reduced" (Ramos, 2010, p.1 . available in portuguese).
  • Order Perciformes: "Groups the most advanced bony fish (Teleostes), generally high body (almost higher than long) and variable colors. Generally with protractile jaws. Dorsal and anal swim composed of thorns and branching rays, pelvic with some hard thorny rays. With lateral pectoral and pelvic fins in thoracic position" (García et al, 2018 , p. 119 - available in Spanish).
  • Order Siluriformes: "Fish with the body without scales, the skin is naked or totally or partially covered by bone plates. In the head, they can have up to four pairs of wattles (usually two maxillary pairs and two mentonian pairs). Their fins are usually well developed, the dorsals and pectorals usually have a hard and ossified radius. Their pelvic fins are always in an abdominal position" (García et al, 2018, p. 139 - available in Spanish).


Genres or scientific names and common names by country

  • Brycon sp.: yatorana, mamuri, yaturana, or matrinchán (Bolivia); jatuarana or matrinxã (Brazil); sábalo, sabaleta, zingo (Colombia), sábalo, mahuaso, katupa or handia (Ecuador) and sábalo (Peru).
  • Curimata inornata: branquinha (Brazil); Ractacara (Ecuador).
  • Mylossoma duriventre: pacupeba (Bolivia), pacu-comum (Brazil), and palometa (Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).
  • Piaractus brachypomus: pacú (Bolivia); pirapitinga (Brazil); paco (Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).
  • Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum: pintado (Bolivia), surubim (Brazil), pintadillo rayado (Colombia), pintadillo tigre (Ecuador), and doncella (Peru).
  • Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum: chunquina, abirari (Bolivia); caparari (Brazil); pintadillo tigre (Colombia); pintadillo tigre, ruyac bari (Ecuador); and tigre, puma, cebra (Peru).
  • Pimelodus sp.: griso (Bolivia); mandi (Brazil); chorrosco, barbudo, picalón (Colombia); picalón o buluquique (Ecuador); and bagre cunchi, bagre, cunchi or zungaro cunchi (Peru).
  • Prochilodus nigricans: sábalo (Bolivia); curimatã, curica or papa-terra (Brazil); bocachico (Colombia and Ecuador); challua (Ecuador) and boquichico (Peru).
  • Triportheus sp.: panete (Bolivia), sardinhas (Brasil), sardinas (Colombia and Peru), and pechón (Ecuador).


Do you know any other names for these fish?

Let us know! Write us to cienciaciudadana@minkaparaconservar.org