Animals in Timor-Leste

Updated: June 20, 2021
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Below you can find a complete list of Timorese animals. We currently track 200 animals in Timor-Leste and are adding more every day!

The island nation of Timor-Leste, sometimes anglicized as East Timor, comprises half of the island of Timor in the Indonesian archipelago. Unlike the other half of the island, it is not a part of the Republic of Indonesia but is instead an independent country that was formerly a Portuguese colony to one degree or another for nearly 500 years.

Timor-Leste is a mountainous country whose chief exports are coffee and sandalwood, along with the revenues accrued from offshore oil and gas leases. Despite this windfall, the country remains relatively under-developed. Recent efforts have been focused on capitalizing upon the country’s treasure chest of unspoiled tropical landscapes and offshore marine sanctuaries.

The Official National Animal Of Timor-Leste

The official national animal of Timor-Leste is the powerful and fearsome Crocodile. While this may seem to be an odd choice for a national animal, it was selected because local legend holds that the very island of Timor itself was formed out of a giant crocodile. In fact, if one looks at a map of the island, it appears very much as if it were the head of a crocodile with its closed jaws facing to the east.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals In Timor-Leste

As an underdeveloped tropical island nation, Timor-Leste abounds in wildlife almost everywhere. There are, of course, numerous places specially designed to display the nation’s wildlife endowment to the best effect. Significantly, the country has decided to focus its efforts on the encouragement of marine eco-tourism where it has a significant advantage over practically every other place on earth. While many species of mammals are also worth viewing, it is these marine animals which the nation is concentrating its efforts upon.

As a result, many of the best places to view wildlife in Timor-Leste are on the coasts and contain wide margins of the littoral seas surrounding it. The Ombai-Wetar Strait Hope Spot is a unique UN-recognized zone where viewing of marine life is highly encouraged.

Two other excellent places to view the island’s unique heritage are Atauro Island, which is being developed by a public-private partnership into a new National Park and the country’s first national park, Nino Konis Santana National Park. The latter is a very large area encompassing more than 300,000 acres of shoreline, tropical rainforest, mountainous terrain, and the island’s last surviving dry forest, which is home to a large percentage of the island’s unique bird species as well as a host of local mammals.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Timor-Leste

Since the nation uses the crocodile as its national animal, it is reasonably likely that this represents a major threat in terms of dangerous wildlife species on the island. The other most dangerous ones would include large Monitor Lizards and the Reticulated Cobra.

Endangered Animals In Timor-Leste

Because of its very unique location on the planet, Timor has a large number of near crossover species drawn from nearby Australia as well as Asia, of which Timor is virtually the last stop on the continent and the only large landmass of the continent that is below the equator.

This also means that these animal groups are in short supply even as a normal condition. Among its bat species, both the Large Flying Fox and the Sunda Flying Fox are listed as endangered species. Offshore, the Dugong, which is a relative of the Manatee, is considered to be at risk. The local edition of the one-horned rhinoceros known as the Badak Jawa is another species that is endangered.

Among the 250 local bird species, the Timor Imperial Pigeon, the Iris Lorikeet, and the Timor Sparrow are all on the list of avians worthy of concern about going extinct.

While no species of note has gone extinct recently, the island was once home to several species of very large lizards akin to the Komodo Dragon of today. These were all rendered extinct in prehistoric times.

Timorese Animals

Admiral Butterfly

Stunningly beautiful wings


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


Extinct ancestor of all domesticated cattle!

Banana Spider

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


There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are 8 different species!

Bed Bugs

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!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors


The most common species of bee!


There are thought to be up 17,500 species!

Camel Cricket

The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.


May have been domesticated up to 10,000 years ago.


The larvae of a moth or butterfly!


There are nearly 3,000 different species!


There are about 3,000 documented species!


First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!


Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Comb-crested Jacana

They are busy foragers, always on the move

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 Spotted Cuscus

Has a long, strong prehensile tail!


They can fly 35 mph and dive 150 feet below water.


There are nearly 1.5 billion worldwide!

Cow Reticulated Python

Cow reticulated pythons hatch solid white, then develop spots as they mature.


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

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!


Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.


There are around 40 different species!


First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

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!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight


Has exceptional eyesight!


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!


Spends around 22 hours a day eating!


The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

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

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!


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!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!


Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"


There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Fly

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!

Giant Trevally

The largest fish in its genus

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!


Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Males form large mating swarms at dusk


Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!


There are 29 different species!


There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Green Tree Python

Green tree pythons are non-venomous, so to subdue their prey, they have a couple of very unique and highly successful hunting techniques.


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 50 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.


Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!


Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!


Has evolved over 50 million years!


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


The fly has no teeth


Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!


Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!


There are an estimated 30 million species!


Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

King Quail

Females look similar to males but don’t come in shades of blue


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!


Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Leopard Cat

There are 11 different species!


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.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!

Long-Tailed Tit

Often hangs upside down while feeding!


The lorikeet has a long brush-like tongue with fine hairs on it


They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Masked Palm Civet

Found throughout Asia, India and China!


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!

Monarch Butterfly

During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.


Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

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!


Roamed Asia and Europe for around 100,000 years!


Nematodes range in size from 1/10 of an inch to 28 feet long

Neptune Grouper

The largest recorded specimen ever caught was 17" long


Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!


Named more than 1,000 years ago!

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


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!


Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!


Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


There are more than 300 different species!


Omnivores that eat anything!

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.

Redback Spider

The redback spiders found in New Caledonia differ from other populations in that they don’t practice sexual cannibalism and don’t bite people as much.

Reticulated python

These popular pets can get big enough to kill their owner.


It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!


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!

Sable Ferret

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


There are more than 700 different species!


Male sambars will compete for mates by clashing together with their antlers

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail


There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

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 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!

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 4,000 known species worldwide


There are 140 different species!

Spotted Garden Eel

Males battle each other over females and territory


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


Average adults weigh about 200 grams!


They can’t sing like other birds.

Sunbeam Snake

Sunbeam snakes have two lungs instead of just a single lung like most snake species.


Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.


Each eye weighs more than their whole brain!


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!


They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite


The largest feline in the world!

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

Timor python

Ironically, Timor pythons have never been found on the island of Timor.


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

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!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Dragon

Spends most of it's time in the trees!


The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

White Tiger

None have been seen in the wild for 50 years!

Wild Boar

Males have a top tusk to sharpen the bottom one!


Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


This animal can roll up into a ball


There are 200 different species!


Doesn’t have eyes.

Zebra Finch

The male zebra finch creates a unique song by drawing inspiration from its parent or tutor


There are around 75 different species!

Timorese Animals List

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Animals in Timor-Leste FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in East Timor?

Timor-Leste is a unique place where rural Asiatic species such as the Water Buffalo, Deer, and Rat live next to wild species such as the Crocodile, Bat, and Monkey, and domestically raised livestock such as Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, and Ducks.

Offshore, the area is an absolute paradise for aquatic species such as an extensive variety of Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Whales, and much other maritime life that is found among the island’s world-renowned coral reefs.

The great crocodiles hold court along the coastline and the area is filled with amphibian species such as frogs. In particular, the region is relatively unexplored so new species are being discovered all the time.

As are most tropical places, Timor-Leste is a colorful paradise filled with hundreds of unique birds with a colorful plumage and exotic bird calls.

Are there monkeys in Timor-Leste?

Yes, there are monkeys in Timor-Leste. The Crab-eating Macaque is present in the country.

Are there crocodiles in Timor-Leste?

Since it is the national animal of Timor-Leste, the answer is obviously yes. Large Saltwater Crocodiles call the region home.