Below you can find a complete list of Libyan animals. We currently track 212 animals in Libya and are adding more every day!
The unique wildlife of Libya extends from the Mediterranean coastline to large areas of the Sahara desert. There are 87 species of mammals, including basic farm animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and chickens. There are also 338 species of birds, many rodents, insects, and sea animals, and 95 species of reptiles including snakes, lizards, and turtles. Besides this, Libya has legislated protection of endangered animals and unique wildlife with several parks, reserves, and other protected areas.
The Official National Animal of Libya
One official national animal of Libya is the Arabian Eagle, whose image is on everything from government documents to churches to team uniforms. Also known as the Eagle of Saladin and the Republican Eagle, it rivals the Hawk of Quraish. With dark brown and black markings and an average length of 15.2-42 inches, this impressive bird was chosen as the national animal because it is large, majestic, and symbolizes power, freedom, transcendence, and shared responsibility in raising children. Its natural habitat is open and semi-open areas including open woodland, rocky hillsides, and mountains as well as steppes. Currently, it is listed as Endangered by the IUCN due to habitat destruction by humans.
Another national animal of Libya is the Barbary Lion, also called the Berber lion, Atlas lion, North African lion, and Egyptian lion. As the largest lion subspecies, it differs from its African and Asiatic counterparts, it prefers to live as a solitary hermit in the forested mountainous environments of North Africa.
Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Libya
A significant amount of wildlife can be found in Libya’s Saharan desert. There, about 70 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, and 100 species of reptiles exist. However, the wildlife tends to be dangerous animals and, due to the extreme heat, are mostly nocturnal. For this reason, it is animal researchers who are most likely to see them. There are several protected areas where people can look at desert animals, such as Fezzan Park and Tripoli’s Zoo. Alternately, they can spot coast-dwelling animals along the Mediterranean coast, including 90 species of resident birds as well as turtles and mollusks.
The Most Dangerous Animals In Libya Today
The most dangerous animals in Libya are the wildlife that lives in the desert, such as poisonous snakes and insects. The black widow spider is native to temperate regions around the world. It is sedentary, shy, and mostly nocturnal, biting on rare occasions out of self-defense. Symptoms range from mild to severe and treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. Sand or horned vipers and cobras are venomous snakes and without antivenom treatment, their bites are fatal. Reticulated pythons, although not venomous, are up to 25 feet long and kill by constricting their prey. Finally, there are scorpions. The deathstalker (Leiurus quinquestriatus) is a common Saharan species that is fatal to children, the elderly, or weak people but is rarely seriously harmful or fatal to healthy adults.
Endangered Animals In Libya
Some examples of rare desert animals whose populations were greatly reduced by over-hunting and are now endangered species are:
- Addax (also called white antelope or screwhorn antelope)
- Some species of gazelles: Scimitar-Horned Oryx, Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas), Dama Gazelle (Gazella dama), and Red-Fronted Gazelle
- Arabian Eagle
- 2 species of turtles: Kleimann’s tortoise and Golden Greek tortoise
- Libyan jerboa
Extinct Animals in Libya
The Scimitar-Horned Oryx is now extinct in the wild, and the Barbary lion is completely extinct. Desert crocodiles were once plentiful in lakes and rivers in the Sahara until a century ago, and they are rare elsewhere in the Middle East. The Sahara contains fossils of extinct wildlife, including dinosaurs, lizards, and marine animals. Some of the fossils are on display in the Ghadames Museum.
Unique Animals in Libya
The sand cat is a small wildcat seen on rare occasions in Libya and other countries. The Libyan wildcat is another small wildcat, also called the African wildcat. With regards to domestic cat breeds, the Abyssinian is the descendant of the Libyan wildcat (African wildcat) and other small cats but closely resembles the Libyan.
Some examples of unique animals in Libya are the Glass Lizard, African Wild Dog, Barbary Sheep, Fennec Fox, Gazelle, Zonkey, and Zorse. Unique birds which are difficult to find elsewhere are the Green Bee Eater, Golden Oriole, and Nightingale. The zonkey and zorse are, as their names suggest, hybrids of zebras and donkeys and zebras and horses, respectively.
Mammals found only in Libya include Horacek’s Horseshoe Bat, Grobben’s Gerbil, the Sand Gerbil, the Vivacious Gerbil, the Cyrenaica Vole, and the Cyrenaica White-toothed Shrew (IUCN) (BHL). Hanak’s Pipistrelle is also native to the country, as is Lanza’s Worm Snake. The Libyan Blue Tit is sometimes considered a distinct species from the African Blue Tit, and the Aphanius killifish from the Mediterranean.
Insects found only in Libya include certain species of the following:
- Beetles, including Onitis ringenbachi (a dung beetle) and Caulostrophus ringenbachi (a weevil)
- Grasshoppers (Paracinipe adelaidae and Thalpomena dernensis)
- Katydid (Afrosteropleurus ientilei)
- Cockroach (Heterogamisca kruegeri)
- Planthopper (Dictyophara merjensis)
- Leafhopper (Wadkufia elegans)
- Moths (carpenter moth Meharia turatii and casebearer moth Coleophora aeneostrigella)
- Bees (Nomioides mucoreus, Andrena cyrenaica and Lasioglossum tripolitanum)
One of the oldest cat breeds in the world!
The hooves of the addax are splayed and have flat, springy soles, one of the adaptations that help it walk over sand.
Also known as the painted dog!
Despite its name, actually originated from Africa and the Middle East
First evolved 100 million years ago!
Renew their horns every year!
They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food
People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.
There are over 1768 known species!
Found everywhere around the world!
Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.
Detects prey using echolocation!
Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.
Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years
There are more than 350,000 different species
Not all birds are able to fly!
The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast
They typically prey on insects!
Females glue egg cases to furniture
Can live its entire life indoors
The most common species of bee!
There are thought to be up 17,500 species!
Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin
Can survive without water for 10 months!
Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!
Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
The Carpet Viper probably bites and kills more people than any other species of snake.
First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!
The larvae of a moth or butterfly!
There are nearly 3,000 different species!
There are about 3,000 documented species!
There are more than 160 different species!
The fastest land mammal in the world!
First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!
There are more than 2 000 known species!
Dated to be around 300 million years old!
Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.
The most common raptor in the UK!
The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood
House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.
A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.
They can fly 35 mph and dive 150 feet below water.
There are nearly 1.5 billion worldwide!
There are 93 different crab groups
Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings
Many are critically endangered species!
Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together
Have changed little in 200 million years!
A group of these birds is called a Murder.
Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.
The Devil’s coach horse beetle can emit a noxious substance to deter predators
First domesticated in South-East Asia!
Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals
First domesticated 5,000 years ago!
Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!
It's larvae are carnivorous!
Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!
The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight
The Dusky Shark sometimes eats trash discarded by humans.
They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs
There are nearly 2,000 different species!
Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!
The Egyptian cobra is one of the largest cobras in Africa.
The Egyptian tortoise is one of the smallest tortoise species in the world.
They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.
The electric catfish can discharge an electric shock up to 450 volts
Spends around 22 hours a day eating!
Found exclusively on the African continent!
They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.
Its fur changes color in the winter!
Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.
The fastest creatures on the planet!
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
Found in the African Sahara Desert!
The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world
Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air
There are more than 240,000 different species!
Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"
There are around 7,000 different species!
Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world
Named for the Arabic word for love poems
There are thought to be over 2,000 species!
Originally known as the Desert Rat!
The most common type of urban roach
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Males form large mating swarms at dusk
Most closely related to the Sheep!
Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.
Migrates between Europe and Asia!
There are 11,000 known species!
One of the most invasive species in the world
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!
Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.
Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!
Inhabits wetlands around the world!
There are only 8 recognized species!
Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!
Horned vipers sidewind across the desert sands of their home.
Has evolved over 50 million years!
Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.
Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!
Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.
There are four different species!
Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!
There are an estimated 30 million species!
The jacana has the ability to swim underwater
Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!
There are around 5,000 different species!
Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.
Will only live in wet areas
They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!
There are 2,500 known species worldwide!
They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.
Some species have a poisonous bite!
Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!
Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.
Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!
Has characteristics of two or more breeds!
Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!
There are around 260 known species!
Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!
Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood
There are 250,000 different species!
Found on every continent on Earth!
The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!
Named more than 1,000 years ago!
There are more than 5,000 species.
Females are about four times the size of males
The tradition of hiding your face with a napkin or towel while eating this bird was begun by a priest who was a friend of the great French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!
There are 13 different species worldwide
The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees
Can live for up to 100 years!
Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!
They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.
The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.
Caterpillars squirt formic acid!
Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!
There are more than 300 different species!
Omnivores that eat anything!
They build their nests off the ground in tree holes, cavities, stone walls, and roofs
It's horns are made from keratin!
Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!
There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!
Actually related to Elephants and Manatees!
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.
Will mate with the entire flock!
Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.
The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail
Some of the largest moths in the world
Believed to be the inspiration for unicorn myths!
There are around 2,000 known species!
The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner
Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!
Around 35 million in the English countryside!
The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.
The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.
There are 2,000 different species worldwide!
Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.
They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce
Has up to 45 eggs per egg case
There are nearly 1,000 different species!
There are around 4,000 known species worldwide
A male song thrush can have over 100 phrases in his repertoire of songs and can imitate pet birds, telephones and other man-made objects.
There are 140 different species!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 3,000 different species!
They can’t sing like other birds.
The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.
Populations have been affected by pollution!
Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.
Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!
The skate with the biggest spines!
The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.
They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite
The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world
Can live until they are more than 150 years old!
Found in warmer jungles and forests!
Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.
Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted
Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most
There are 30 different species worldwide!
There are around 75,000 recognised species!
Has been domesticated for thousands of years!
There are two different types of white ferrets!
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
This animal can roll up into a ball
Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.
There are 200 different species!
They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.
There are around 75 different species!
The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!
The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!
Libyan Animals List
Animals in Libya FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What kind of animals live in Libya?
Coastal, forest, mountain, and desert-dwelling animals.
Do lions live in Libya?
Yes, but they are kept in protected areas and are not native to Libya. The Barbary lion, which was native to Libya and several other countries, is extinct.
Does Libya have a lot of snakes?
Yes, especially in the Sahara desert, there are sand vipers, horned vipers, reticulated pythons, and cobras.