Animals in Dominican Republic



Below you can find a complete list of Dominican animals. We currently track 137 animals in Dominican Republic and are adding more every day!

The Dominican Republic is a country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. With a stable, cool tropical climate and gorgeous mountains and jungles alongside over 900 miles of coastline, there is plenty of unique, exotic wildlife, both native and introduced. Mammals such as Hispaniolan Solenodons, Hispaniolan hutias, and common raccoons, snakes such as rattlesnakes, and other animals such as Hispaniolan emeraldis hummingbirds live there. Out of the 20 land mammal species, 2 are native.

The Official National Animal of the Dominican Republic

There are several national animals of the Dominican Republic, so there is no one official national symbol. One national animal is the Palm Chat, a small songbird that nests in large groups on Royal Palm trees. Another is the Hispaniolan hutia (Plagiodontia aedium), the last living native land mammal which is the official national animal of the West Indies of the Dominican Republic.

Another national animal is the Palm Stork (Dolus dominicus). On the shield of the city of Santo Domingo, there are two yellow lions which are symbols of dominion, sovereignty, and energy after the country won its independence three centuries ago. The coat of arms of the city likewise contains two lions as part of its symbols.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in the Dominican Republic

The top wild animals in the Dominican Republic are popular wildlife one can see on tours such as the forests of Sierra de Baoruco, by the sea at Boca de Yuma, Macao Beach at Punta Cana as well as national parks and other protected areas. They include unique animals one can only see in the country or on the island of Hispaniola.

The Hispaniolan Hutia (Plagiodontia aedium) is the only living native rodent on Hispaniola and can be seen in the southwestern part of the Dominican Republic. The Hispaniolan Solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus) is one of two species in the world besides the one in Cuba (Solenodon cubana) and has a wide range in many forest habitats. It can be seen during nocturnal tour outings along with owls and other nightbirds, distinguished by its side-to-side waddle. Its native predators are the Barn Owl, the Ashy-Faced Owl, the Stygian Owl, the Hispaniolan Boa, but it’s also killed by feral and domesticated dogs.

Among other nocturnal animals is the Greater Bulldog Bat (Noctilio leporinus), the largest bat on the island with a 3 foot-long wingspan. The second-largest bat is the Big Free-Tailed Bat, with a 17.1 inch-long wingspan. The Minor Red Bat (Lasiurus minor) roosts in trees and can only be found in 6 places on the island. Several other bats are endemic to Hispaniola and other countries, but not to the Dominican Republic.

Some examples of other unique animals are:

  • Amphibian species – the Hispaniolan Yellow Treefrog (Osteopilus pulchrilineata)
  • Reptile species – the Antillean Slider (Trachemys stejnegeri)
  • Lizard species – the Santo Domingo Curlytail or Hispaniolan Maskless Curlytail (Leiocephalus lunatus).
  • Land snail species Cerion yumaense.
  • Crab species – the Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria).
  • Butterfly species – the Polydamus Swallowtail or Gold Rim (Battus polydamus polycrates)
  • Moth species – the Celery Leaftier Moth (Udea rubigalis)
  • Dragonfly species of Tropical King Skimmers in the genus Orthemis, such as Orthemis macrostigma.
  • Damselfly species Telebasis dominicana
  • Spider species – the Orchard Orb Weaver (Leucauge venusta) and the Hispaniolan Giant Tarantula (Phormictopus cancerides)

The Most Dangerous Animals In the Dominican Republic Today

Among dangerous snakes, the Hispaniolan Boa (Chilabothrus striatu) is dangerous not because of any toxic venom, but due to its strength in squeezing or strangling people to death.

Venomous animals do not always mean life-threatening. Take the following most dangerous animals in the Dominican Republic:

  • Rattlesnake bites are poisonous but rarely result in fatality unless the bite enters a vein.
  • The Hispaniolan solenodons are far away from snakes and likewise secretes toxic saliva, but it is only fatal to smaller animals; in humans, it causes severe pain and localized swelling which can last for days.
  • The stingray species the Thorn Stripe (American Whip-Stripe) and the centipede species Scolopendra gigantea cause pain for several hours.
  • The Black Widow Spider, the Brown Recluse (Violin Spider), and the rarely-seen Portuguese Man O’War do not have lethal bites unless there are complications or a lack of treatment.
  • The Lionfish causes extreme pain and can cause complications such as fever, respiratory paralysis, and heart failure.
  • Both the Pufferfish and the Mamp Pempén or Cane Toad are only lethal if ingested.
  • The Portuguese Frigate or False Jellyfish causes marks that resemble burns, extreme pain and if it affected a large area, anaphylactic shock, and death.

It is common for people to assume that tropical islands have more dangerous wildlife than other countries. But while there are indeed several dangerous animals in the Dominican Republic, there are actually far more in the United States.

Endangered Animals In the Dominican Republic

Some of the endangered animals in the Dominican Republic are:

  • The Hispaniolan Solenodon, a nocturnal burrowing shrewlike mammal.
  • 2 species of manatees, the West Indian Manatee or North American Manatee (Trichechus manatus) and the subspecies the Antillean Manatee or Marine Cow (Trichechus manatus), a unique species in the Caribbean.
  • The Rhinoceros Iguana (Cyclura cornuta)
  • The Puerto Rican Nightjar or Puerto Rican Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus noctitherus)

One of the 20 species of mammals is critically endangered, another is endangered and three species are vulnerable. A total of 9,539 species of animals including 483 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians; 527 species of freshwater and marine fish, and 8,529 species of invertebrates (1,696 marine and 6,833 terrestrial) are on the 2011 IUCN Red List of Endangered, Threatened or Protected Species of the Dominican Republic. Amphibians and lizards, including anoles, are some of the most vulnerable animals.

Extinct Animals in the Dominican Republic

Among the extinct wildlife in the Dominican Republic are 3 species of bats that went extinct or were extirpated: One in the genus Pteronotus, Mormoops megalophylla, and Lasiurus intermedius. The Puerto Rican Hutia (Isolobodon portoricensis) which was introduced to Puerto Rico from Hispaniola is completely extinct. Raccoons, namely common raccoons (Procyon lotor) are mammals that were introduced and extirpated. Eight species of the 20 mammals are extinct.

Dominican Animals

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Armadillo

Can curl into a hard, protective ball!

Armyworm

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

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bear

There are 8 different species!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Booby

Seabirds found across the South Pacific!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 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.

Carpenter Ant

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

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!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

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

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

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

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Falcon

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.

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Gar

Can grow to more than 3m long!

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Great Blue Heron

Their wingspan is larger than an eagle’s; both males and females help hatch the eggs; rich in symbolism

Guppy

Also known as the Millionfish!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Harpy Eagle

Talon's the size of a grizzly bear's claws!

Hercules Beetle

This dynastine scarab beetle makes a weird huffing sound when it’s disturbed.

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

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

House wren

The wren’s epithet, aedon, comes from a Greek queen who accidentally killed her only son. She was actually aiming for her nephew, and Zeus took pity on her and turned her into a nightingale.

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Hummingbird

Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!

Huntsman Spider

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

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Iguana

Uses visual signals to communicate!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Macaw

The largest species of parrot in the world!

Marine Toad

Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Some colonies have millions of bats

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.

Molly

Known for their calm and peaceful nature!

Monarch Butterfly

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

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mountain Lion

Has no real natural predators!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Ocelot

Also known as the Painted Leopard!

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Panther

Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!

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.

Poison Dart Frog

Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Puma

Has longer back legs than front legs!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Quetzal

The tail feathers of the male can be 1m long!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rattlesnake

It's venom digests it's prey before it even swallows it!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

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.

Roseate Spoonbill

The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated hummingbirds can beat their wings more than 50 times per second.

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

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.

Sloth

It's body temperature is between 30 - 34 degrees!

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Snapping Turtle

Only found in North America!

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!

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.

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!

Toucan

There are more than 40 different species!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Turkey

Closely related to pheasants and chickens!

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Umbrellabird

Migrates up and down the mountains!

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

White-Faced Capuchin

One of the world's most intelligent monkeys!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Dominican Animals List

Animals in Dominican Republic FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What kind of animals live in the Dominican Republic?

A variety of terrestrial, marine, and freshwater animals live in the country, whether unique, native, or introduced.

What dangerous animals live in the Dominican Republic?

There are several dangerous animals including the Hispaniolan Boa, the Hispaniolan Solenodon, the Rattlesnake, the Thorn Stripe (American Whip-Stripe) stingray, the centipede species Scolopendra gigantea, the Black Widow Spider, the Brown Recluse (Violin Spider), the Portuguese Man O’War, the Lionfish, the Pufferfish, the Mamp Pempén or Cane Toad, and the Portuguese Frigate or False Jellyfish.

What is the most dangerous animal in the Dominican Republic?

The Hispaniolan Boa, which is so strong it can squeeze or strangle humans to death.

Are there tigers in the Dominican Republic?

No. The Saber-Toothed Tiger used to roam the Americas but it is extinct.

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