Animals in Libya

Below you can find a complete list of Libyan animals. We currently track 197 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:

  • Ostrich
  • Addax (also called white antelope or screwhorn antelope)
  • Cheetah
  • 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)

Libyan Animals

Abyssinian

The oldest breed of cat in the world!

Addax

The hooves of the addax are splayed and have flat, springy soles, one of the adaptations that help it walk over sand.

African Wild Dog

Also known as the painted dog!

American Cockroach

Despite its name, actually originated from Africa and the Middle East

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Armyworm

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

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.

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!

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!

Brown-banded Cockroach

Females glue egg cases to furniture

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 17,500 species!

Caecilian

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

Camel

Can survive without water for 10 months!

Caracal

Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

Carpenter Ant

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

Carpet Viper

The Carpet Viper probably bites and kills more people than any other species of snake.

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!

Chameleon

There are more than 160 different species!

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

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.

Common Raven

A group of ravens is called an unkindness or a conspiracy.

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

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

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.

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.

Devils Coach Horse Beetle

The Devil’s coach horse beetle can emit a noxious substance to deter predators

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dormouse

Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Dusky Shark

The Dusky Shark sometimes eats trash discarded by humans.

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!

Egyptian Cobra

The Egyptian cobra is one of the largest cobras in Africa.

Electric Catfish

The electric catfish can discharge an electric shock up to 450 volts

Elephant

Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Elephant Shrew

Found exclusively on the African continent!

European Polecat

Its fur changes color in the winter!

European Robin

Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

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

Fennec Fox

Found in the African Sahara Desert!

Firefly

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

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

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

Gazelle

Named for the Arabic word for love poems

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Gnat

Males form large mating swarms at dusk

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

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.

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Hoopoe

Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

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

Housefly

The fly has no teeth

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

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

Hyena

There are four different species!

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jacana

The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Maggot

Will only live in wet areas

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

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.

Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

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!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Ortolan Bunting

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.

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pigeon

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

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rock Hyrax

Actually related to Elephants and Manatees!

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!

Sable Ferret

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

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Scimitar-horned Oryx

Believed to be the inspiration for unicorn myths!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner

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!

Skink Lizard

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

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

Song Thrush

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.

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

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

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stork

They can’t sing like other birds.

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

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!

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.

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Viper

Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Zonkey

The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!

Zorse

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.