Animals in Trinidad and Tobago



Below you can find a complete list of Trinidadian animals. We currently track 119 animals in Trinidad and Tobago and are adding more every day!

The fauna in Trinidad and Tobago is unlike that found in other islands of the Caribbean. Its unique nature arose because millions of years ago the island was actually connected to South America, and the ancestors of many animals found in Venezuela came over the land bridge to what became T & T. About 100 species of mammals, 90 species of reptiles, including five types of marine turtles. There are 50 species of freshwater fish, 30 species of amphibians, and 950 species of marine fish that live on or in the waters around Trinidad and Tobago and its smaller islands. Some of these species are only found in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Official National Animal of Trinidad and Tobago

Since Trinidad and Tobago are two islands, they have two national animals. The national symbol of Trinidad is the scarlet ibis, and the national animal of Tobago is the cocrico, also called the Rufous-tailed chachalaca. Both animals are birds.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Trinidad and Tobago

The top wild fauna in T & T can be found in its moist forests the dry forests, xeric scrubland, and mangrove swamps. There are also freshwater rivers and streams and dams, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and the open ocean.

The government of Trinidad and Tobago recognizes 61 protected areas around the country, and they are separated into categories that include national parks, natural landmarks, nature conservation reserves, scenic landscapes, scientific reserves, and recreation parks, all of which cover some 170,502 acres.

Among Trinidad and Tobago’s nature reserves are

The Most Dangerous Animals In Trinidad and Tobago Today

  • Southern stingray – Fatal stings from this animal are very rare, and the death by stingray of naturalist Steve Irwin must be counted as a freak occurrence. But these cartilaginous relatives of the shark do tend to bury themselves in the sand near the coast and will defend themselves if they’re stepped on. Naturalists recommend a person walking shuffle their feet a bit if they walk through the surf to warn the animal that they’re coming.
  • Great White Shark – This shark, which can be 20 feet long and weigh 2.5 tons, causes the most shark injuries and deaths around the world.
  • Venomous snakes – Venomous snakes are only found in Trinidad and the Boca Islands. Among them are the fer-de-lance, the bushmaster, and two species of coral snake.
  • Spectacled Caiman – This crocodilian is a potential threat to humans. It has also been known to take livestock and pets. However, it does try to avoid human contact in the places where it’s been hunted.

Endangered Animals In Trinidad and Tobago

Like nearly everywhere else on earth, Trinidad and Tobago has its share of endangered fauna, and some animals may even be extinct in their native habitat. They include:

  • Leatherback turtle – This huge marine turtle can grow as long as 7.2 feet and weigh 1540 pounds. It is unique among sea turtles in the size of its flippers, which can grow even longer than its body, and the leathery skin that covers its carapace. It hauls out on the beaches of T & T to lay its eggs. Despite being protected, leatherback turtles are listed as vulnerable or endangered due to being caught in webs meant for fish and struck by sea-going vessels. Pollution, including light pollution that disorients hatchlings, also takes a toll on this animal.
  • West Indian manatee – This marine mammal is also called the sea cow and was a relative of the now-extinct Stellar’s sea cow. The West Indian manatee is related to the elephant and spends all of its time in the water, with its dense bones helping it stay submerged. It can grow to 11.5 feet long and weigh 1320 pounds, though the heaviest recorded weight was 3649 pounds. Manatees are also unique when it comes to other mammals because of their diaphragm. It’s split in two and each side works independently. The West Indian manatee is considered vulnerable, while its subspecies are endangered.
  • Whale shark – Bigger even than the Great White and able to grow as long as 62 feet, the whale shark is harmless to humans. It is not a whale but it is a shark but is unusual among sharks that it is a filter feeder that feeds on the soup of plankton in the ocean. It simply opens its mouth and plunges right into its food, or sucks the food in, closes its mouth, and flushes the excess water out through its gills. The whale shark is endangered.
  • Horned screamer – This is a bird that gets its name from its shrieking call. Related to ducks and geese, it is so rare in Trinidad and Tobago that biologists believe it has been extirpated or made extinct in a region where it once lived. However, it is of least concern in countries of South America such as Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia.

Trinidadian 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.

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!

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!

Guppy

Also known as the Millionfish!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

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.

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.

Howler Monkey

Spends 80% of it's time resting!

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!

Jaguar

The largest feline on the American continent!

Keel-Billed Toucan

It's beak can reach nearly 20 cm long!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

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.

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Molly

Known for their calm and peaceful nature!

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!

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!

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

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!

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!

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

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!

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!

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!

Trinidadian Animals List

Animals in Trinidad and Tobago FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What kind of animals live in Trinidad and Tobago?

T & T is extraordinarily rich in all kinds of wildlife, including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

What is the most dangerous animal in Trinidad?

The most dangerous animal in Trinidad is probably the fer-de-lance snake. This is a dangerous pit viper with a wide, flat head and beautiful brown, gray or yellow coloration on its body. It is bad-tempered and unpredictable, and a snake that looks like it’s moving away may double back and attack. This is one reason why it’s the cause of most snakebites in places where it lives with other venomous snakes.

Are there wild monkeys in Trinidad?

Wild monkeys in Trinidad are the tufted capuchin, the weeper capuchin, and the Guyanese red howler monkeys.

Are there alligators in Trinidad?

There are no alligators in Trinidad and Tobago, but there is a caiman. It is closely related to alligators, and both animals belong to the family Alligatoridae.

Are there jaguars in Trinidad and Tobago?

Trinidad and Tobago lack jaguars, but it does have its smaller cousin the ocelot. This is a medium-sized wild cat with beautiful striped and spotted fur that reminds people of a jaguar’s. If a person wants to see a jaguar, they’ll need to go to the central plains of Venezuela.

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