Below you can find a complete list of Mexican animals. We currently track 336 animals in Mexico and are adding more every day!
Mexico is among the world’s most diverse countries for exotic animal wildlife. Straddling the line between temperate and tropical America, the Mexican ecosystem is a rich blend of deserts and shrublands, grasslands, temperate forests, tropical forests, mountains, and wetlands. While Mexico may be rich in native species, it’s also an important destination for birds and insects migrating from the north. The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán state is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Official National Animal of Mexico
The official national animal of Mexico is the golden eagle. As an important symbol of Mexican culture dating back to Pre-Columbian times, it is featured almost everywhere. An image of the golden eagle eating a rattlesnake even adorns the country’s flag. Other important animals include the jaguar (the national mammal) and the Xoloitzcuintli (national dog).
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Mexico
The best place to find Mexico’s diverse animals is at its rich national parks. The Basaseachic Falls National Park is located in the center of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range within the state of Chihuahua. The mountains, valleys, and rich forests are home to a diverse range of exotic wild animals. The Palenque National Park, located among Mayan ruins in the southern state of Chiapas, is home to many birds and arboreal mammals (like the iconic howler monkey) in the dense foliage of the surrounding rainforests. Mexico City itself is home to several national parks such as the Cumbres del Ajusco and the Nevado de Toluca. Finally, visitors might also want to check out the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park near the Sierra Madre and Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park within the volcanic range of Puebla and Morelos.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Mexico Today
Mexico is home to many dangerous predators and poisonous snakes and sea creatures that can cause serious injury or death. Here is a small sample of them:
- Rattlesnake – Found in the deserts of western Mexico, the rattlesnake has a very painful toxin that can cause tingling, weakness, nausea, vomiting, swelling, and in very extreme cases, heart failure. Fortunately, this snake almost always gives a warning before it strikes.
- Fer-de-lance Snake – Located in southern Mexico, this reptile can deliver a toxin that causes nausea, vomiting, swelling, numbness, fever, and internal bleeding, though death is relatively rare.
- Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake – Black on top and yellow along the belly, this snake has a neurotoxin that can cause serious tissue damage. As a marine animal, it isn’t often encountered by people.
- Jaguar – Although jaguar attacks are exceedingly rare, their bite is strong enough to pierce a thick shell. The closely related cougar also has a very strong and dangerous bite.
- Box Jellyfish – Famous for its sublime, ethereal beauty, the box jellyfish can also deliver a very painful sting that can sometimes be fatal to swimmers in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific. As with many other poisonous animals, though, documented deaths are rare.
You can read about another snake in Mexico, Crotalus basiliscus, which is also the largest snake found in Mexico.
Endangered Animals in Mexico
Mexico’s wild animals face serious threats from urbanization, pollution, and deforestation. Many species are now in danger of complete extinction.
- Axolotl – Also known as the Mexican walking fish, the unique Axolotl is actually a species of salamander. Since it does not undergo the typical amphibian metamorphosis, this species retains several juvenile characteristics, including external gill stalks behind the head. The Axolotl is native to some lakes near Mexico City, but urbanization and water pollution have nearly driven it to extinction.
- Vaquita – Roughly translated as “little cow,” the unique Vaquita is the smallest of all living cetaceans. This tiny porpoise lives in the northernmost part of the Gulf of California.
- Mexican Wolf – This distinct subspecies of the gray wolf has a very small range in northern Mexico.
- Mexican Howler – This howler monkey is a critically endangered subspecies of the vulnerable mantled howler. The most prominent characteristics of this monkey are the prehensile tail and distinctive howling sound.
The alligator gar has toxic eggs to protect against predators
These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech
The color “Robin egg blue” is named after the hue of their eggs.
There are just under 400 species, several of which change color.
First evolved 100 million years ago!
Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!
Apple Head Chihuahuas are toy breed dogs with a history dating back to ancient Mexico. They are lovable, loyal, smart and courageous with a lengthy lifespan despite being the world's smallest canines.
The South American spectacled bear is its closest relative living today.
Under UV light they glow a bright blue or green, making them easy to spot.
Can curl into a hard, protective ball!
They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food
Found only in one complex of lakes!
Baird’s rat snake subdues its prey through suffocation.
Found everywhere around the world!
Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.
Like other owls, the barred owl swallows its prey whole.
Detects prey using echolocation!
There are 8 different species!
Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.
Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years
There are more than 350,000 different species
Bighorn rams can run at speeds up to 40 miles per hour when fighting for dominance.
Not all birds are able to fly!
The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast
They typically prey on insects!
Some folklore associate Black Witch Moths with bad luck (and even death!), while other associates them with good fortune.
The blind snake is often mistaken for a worm.
This species can detach its tail to escape from predators
It's a strong fighter when caught on a fishing line
Joy and happiness are the spiritual meaning of this bird.
Blue grosbeak parents take off the head, legs and wings of an insect before feeding it to their baby.
The world record for longest bluegill is 15 inches.
About double the size of a domestic cat!
Seabirds found across the South Pacific!
The bowfin is a primitive fish that first evolved in the Jurassic
This reptile has an S-shaped neck allowing it to pull its entire head into its shell.
Can live its entire life indoors
Considered “The farmer’s friend” because it eats mice and other vermin.
The burrowing owl lives in underground burrows
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 grow to up 6 meters long!
A full-grown California kingsnake can be about 3.5 feet long, though there are some cases in Mexico of the snake being almost twice this size.
The camel crickets that are found in the USA are light brown in color. They also have dark streaks all over their body.
Fast, carnivorous arachnid with a painful bite.
Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!
Evidence indicates that females can delay fertilization and store sperm for later years to produce eggs even in the absence of contact with a male!
The larvae of a moth or butterfly!
There are nearly 3,000 different species!
There are about 3,000 documented species!
It has the ability to expel a stinky liquid from its body as a way to make predators (and humans) retreat!
Chickadees are named for the sound they make: Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee!
First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!
Curious and devoted personality!
There are more than 2 000 known species!
Coachwhip snakes pose little danger to people
Found in dense forests and wet jungles!
Dated to be around 300 million years old!
Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.
Form bands of up to 12 individuals!
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.
Eyes change color as they age
Copperheads get their name, unsurprisingly, from their bronze-hued heads.
There are over 80 species of coral snake worldwide.
There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!
Also known as the Prairie Wolf!
There are 93 different crab groups
Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings
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.
People buy Death's Head Cockroach nymphs and raise them as pets!
The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world.
Lives in burrows underground!
First domesticated in South-East Asia!
Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals
First domesticated 5,000 years ago!
It's larvae are carnivorous!
The most popular species of feeder roach
Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!
The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight
Some species can change color from dark to light, and back again.
Has exceptional eyesight!
They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs
There are nearly 2,000 different species!
Bluebirds drop straight down on their prey from their perch, much like leopards.
Females are usually larger than males.
This passerine bird can sing its song without ever hearing another bird vocalize first.
Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!
Have a lifespan of 20 years or more
The fastest creatures on the planet!
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
The Most Dangerous Snake in the Americas
The ferruginous hawk comes in both light and dark morphs
The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.
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!
Can glide up to 90 meters!
Although it is a tree squirrel, it spends most of its time on the ground.
There are around 7,000 different species!
Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world
Can grow to more than 3m long!
Female garter snakes give birth to live young rather than laying eggs!
There are thought to be over 2,000 species!
The most common type of urban roach
When giant leopard moths mate, their mating sessions last over 24 hours.
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Males form large mating swarms at dusk
They dig large networks of tunnels!
Gopher snakes can reach up to 9 feet long.
Use acute hearing to hunt
There are 11,000 known species!
The grasshopper mice attack predators using the poison of their venom.
The gray fox has retractable claws and a rotating wrist that allow it to climb trees with some proficiency
Their wingspan is larger than an eagle’s; both males and females help hatch the eggs; rich in symbolism
This species makes use of some truly unusual nesting material, including snakeskin and garbage
This snake vigorously shakes its tail as a way to frighten away predators.
There are two types of green snakes: smooth green snakes and rough green snakes
It’s sometimes called a miter snake due to the marking on its head that looks like a bishop’s miter
Also known as the Millionfish!
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!
Red touches yellow kills a fellow, red touches black a friend of Jack.
Talon's the size of a grizzly bear's claws!
Their vision is eight times better than a human's
Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.
This dynastine scarab beetle makes a weird huffing sound when it’s disturbed.
Inhabits wetlands around the world!
Prima Donnas of the Snake World
There are only 8 recognized species!
Hooded orioles have a strong sweet tooth that makes nectar and jelly among its favorite foods.
The horned lizards are able to squirt blood from their eyes.
Has evolved over 50 million years!
Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.
Changed little in over 500 million years!
The house finch can become redder depending on what it eats
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.
Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!
Beat their wings up to 80 times per second!
Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.
Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!
Uses visual signals to communicate!
Since the imperial moth doesn’t eat, it does die shortly after it lays its eggs. Its lifespan is only about one week.
There are an estimated 30 million species!
The jacana has the ability to swim underwater
They can run as fast as 45 mph.
The largest feline on the American continent!
These cats are expert swimmers.
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
Merriam’s kangaroo rats literally never have to drink water
It's beak can reach nearly 20 cm long!
The killdeer feigns injury to draw a predator away from its nest.
The king vulture is the second largest New World vulture species
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
The kinkajou is a nimble forest-dwelling mammal of Central and South America.
The kit fox is the smallest canid in North America.
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
They can jump up to three feet
Can jump a distance of two feet to capture prey
There are around 5,000 different species!
The lizardfish can camouflage itself against the sandy bottom to avoid predators.
Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.
Only females have the ‘lone star’ marking
The largest species of parrot in the world!
Will only live in wet areas
It's called the rabbit of the ocean because it multiplies so quickly.
With an appropriate tail wind, the mallard can travel hundreds of miles a day
Produces a toxin used in arrow darts!
The name “Massasauga” comes from the Chippewa language, meaning “Great River Mouth”.
There are 2,500 known species worldwide!
They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.
Mexican alligator lizards shed their skin like snakes.
The northern crested caracara mates for life with its partner
Some colonies have millions of bats
They can break off part of their tail, but it will not grow back.
Some species have a poisonous bite!
"The Mojave rattlesnake is the most venomous rattlesnake in the world."
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.
Known for their calm and peaceful nature!
During migration, Monarch Butterflies may travel 250 or more miles each day.
Has characteristics of two or more breeds!
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!
Depending on the time of the year, the mountain bird can live as far north as Alaska.
Has no real natural predators!
It is almost always the male who makes the famous sad sound, which is a wooing call
Found on every continent on Earth!
The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!
The muskrat can stay underwater up to 17 minutes at a time
no stomach to digest food
There are more than 5,000 species.
Males are a bright red color, also called "cardinal red"
Also known as the Painted Leopard!
Often mistaken for the Tennessee Warblers, which are equally dull.
Females are about four times the size of males
There are 13 different species worldwide
The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees
Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!
Can live for up to 100 years!
The parrot snake shows off with bright green and bronze colors that cover its entire body.
Parrotlets aren't the world's tiniest parrot — that would be the pygmy parrot of Australasia.
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 plains hognose snake gets its name from the upturned end of its snout.
Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!
The Polyphemus moth doesn’t eat.
There are 30 different species worldwide!
The potoo’s eyelids have slits that let them see even when their eyes are closed.
Prairie dog “towns” can consists of hundreds of individuals
The striking distance of a prairie rattlesnake is 2/3rds the length of its body.
The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.
While pronghorns are the fastest runner of any Western Hemisphere land animal, they are not good jumpers.
Has longer back legs than front legs!
Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!
The tail feathers of the male can be 1m long!
Known to wash their food before eating it!
The racer snake can speed away at up to 3.5 miles per hour
Omnivores that eat anything!
Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.
It's venom digests it's prey before it even swallows it!
A rattlesnake can shake its rattle back and forth 20-100 times per second.
Sliders spend lots of time basking in the sun. As cold-blooded animals, they need the sun to heat up.
Despite their spectacular coloration, red-eyed tree frogs aren’t poisonous and can be kept as pets.
Red finches can form flocks of over 100 birds.
Inhabits the Pacific Mountains of Mexico!
The male red-winged blackbird can sing to attract mates
The ring-billed gull feeds on vast quantities of human waste and garbage.
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!
Rose-breasted grosbeaks are closely related to cardinals
The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!
One of the few snakes that naturally comes in a rainbow of colors.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds can beat their wings more than 50 times per second.
Canines up to 7 inches long!
Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.
There are more than 700 different species!
The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail
The Savannah sparrow gets its name because one of the first of this type of bird was found in the city of Savannah, Georgia.
Like many parrots, the scarlet macaw is capable of vocal mimicry.
There are around 2,000 known species!
The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner
Some gulls are capable of using tools
Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!
Around 35 million in the English countryside!
The modern Spectacled Bear, which lives in South America, is related to the Short-Faced Bear!
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.
It's body temperature is between 30 - 34 degrees!
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 3,000 known species worldwide
Only found in North America!
Males change into females after the spawning season
Pumps its tail when it flies!
These snakes live underground, beneath piles of leaf litter or in thickets, and they are expert swimmers.
Southern Pacific rattlesnakes hibernate in dens that hold hundreds of snakes.
They have long, horizontal ears.
There are 140 different species!
Found in the tropical jungles of South America!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
They are commonly mistaken as logs in the water due to their cylindrical body.
Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 3,000 different species!
They can’t sing like other birds.
Populations have been affected by pollution!
Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.
Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!
These snakes grow to just 11 inches long
Texas coral snakes have the second most powerful venom in the world
Texas Indigo Snakes are known for chasing down, overpowering, and eating rattlesnakes.
They hold push-up competitions!
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
These rattlesnakes have the smallest heads of any rattlesnake.
Can live until they are more than 150 years old!
There are more than 40 different species!
Found in warmer jungles and forests!
The tree swallow can make more than a dozen distinct vocalizations
Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.
Migrates up and down the mountains!
Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!
A slender body and elongated snout give the vine snake a regal look.
Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted
There are 30 different species worldwide!
There are around 75,000 recognised species!
Western blind snakes are flourescent in black light!
They replace their fangs 2-4 times per year!
Many whiptail species reproduce asexually.
One of the world's most intelligent monkeys!
There are two different types of white ferrets!
White-tail deer are good swimmers
Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
Temperature determines the sex of turtle eggs
This animal can roll up into a ball
There are 200 different species!
males pluck webs like strings on a guitar
The Xoloitzcuintli is the national dog of Mexico
Gives birth to live young.
Mexican Animals List
Animals in Mexico FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What kind of cat species are found in Mexico?
Mexico has two main species of exotic big cats: the jaguar and the cougar. It also has four species of medium-sized cats: the ocelot, jaguarundi, margay, and Mexican bobcat.
What extinct animals once lived in Mexico?
Based on written evidence and the fossil record, we know that Mexico was once home to its own unique species of the grizzly bear, a large genus of short-faced bears (which went extinct around 11,000 years ago), and the Texas wolf (a subspecies of the gray wolf).
What's the tallest mountain in Mexico?
At 18,490 feet, Pico de Orizaba is the highest peak in Mexico. It is one of the many magnificent mountains in Mexico worth exploring.