Animals in Italy

Below you’ll find a complete list of Italian animals with pictures. We currently track 171 animals in Italy and add more daily!

  • National Animal of Italy: Italian Wolf
  • Approximate Number of Animal Species in Italy (Excluding Bacteria, Viruses): 57,000
  • Most Dangerous Animal in Italy: Marsican Brown Bear

Italy Wildlife and Geography

Italy is a biodiversity hot spot that’s home to more animal species than any other European country. Impressively, a third of the continent’s fauna is represented in Italy. Why? Because the boot-shaped peninsula is the joint connecting Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. As such, it’s a cornucopia of ecological features that includes the Alps and Apennine mountain ranges, central woodlands, and southern shrublands. The fauna-rich cherry on top is Italy’s 4,900 miles (8,000 kilometers) of coastline that falls smack in the middle of the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity zone.

Italy’s wildlife is so impressive that UNESCO declared the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park a World Heritage Site in 2009.

Italy Animals

Excluding bacterias, viruses, and most microscopic invertebrates, Italy is home to about 57,000 known species, 4,777 of which are endemic to the region.

Italian Mammals

Between 102 and 126 mammal species live within Italy and its surrounding waters. According to the IUCN, of those mammals, four are  Near Threatened, nine are Vulnerable, two are Endangered, and one, the North Atlantic right whale, is Critically Endangered. 

Commonly spotted mammals in Italy include several types of shrews, Alpine marmots — which look like chubby squirrels — European snow voles, wild boars, and steinbocks.

Notably, Etruscan shrews — the smallest known mammal by mass — resides in Italy. The tiny and solitary animals weigh only .063 ounces, which is about half as heavy as a pencil. Another standout Italian mammal is the Alpine ibex. Found in northern Italian mountain ranges, males of the goat-antelope species are known for their gigantic, backward-hooking horns.

Italian Birds

How many bird species are in Italy? The latest count stands at 516, but only about 267 nest in the nation. Bluethroats, hoopoe, and the stunning European roller, with its turquoise and electric blue feather patterns, are common. Birds of prey in the region include Bonelli’s eagles, Eurasian eagle-owl, and the griffon vulture. 

Italian Reptiles and Amphibians

Scientists cannot agree on the number of reptiles and amphibians in Italy. Numbers range between 44 and 59 each. Common reptiles and lizards found in the country include spectacled salamanders, Italian newts, Italian stream frogs, Sicilian pond turtles, and the Italian Aesculapian snakes.

Italian Fish

Hundreds of fish and marine mammals swim through Italian waters. Common species include the Italian loach and Italian barbel. Jellyfish, porcelain crabs, and octopus are also plentiful.

Italian Insects

Researchers and naturalists have observed about 37,303 insects in Italy, and nearly 200 butterfly and moth species flit through the nation’s skies. Scarlet dragonflies, Cleopatra butterflies, and Praying mantis are all at home in the southern European country. 

Endangered Animals in Italy

Below is a table that details a sampling of Italian animals deemed threatened, to some degree, by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This Italian endangered animals list is not exhaustive.

AnimalAlternative NamesIUCN ClassificationRegionThreatsInteresting Fact
Corsican HareApennine Hare, Italian HareVulnerableSouthern and Central ItalyHabitat Loss, Hunting, Food CompetitionOnce Regarded As a Subspecies of the European Hare
Sardinian Long-Eared BatNAVulnerableThree Caves in Central SardiniaTourism Disturbance, Habitat LossOnly Surviving Mammal Species Endemic to Sardinia
Corsican Red DeerCorsican Deer, Sardinian DeerNear ThreatenedCorsica Island, Sardinia IslandHabitat LossSmallest of the Red Deer Subspecies
Brown Cave SalamanderGene’s cave salamander, Sardinian cave salamander, Sardinian salamanderVulnerableSardiniaHabitat LossHabitat Loss
Italian Cave SalamanderNANear ThreatenedNorthern and Central Apennine MountainsHabitat LossPrefers to Live around Limestone Rock
Monte Albo Cave SalamanderStefani’s salamanderNear ThreatenedSardiniaHabitat LossReproduces Through Direct Development of Terrestrial Eggs
Sardinian Brook SalamanderSardinian mountain newtEndangeredSardiniaHabitat Loss, Pollution, Tourism DisturbanceStays Close to Water at All Times
Apennine Yellow-Bellied ToadNAEndangeredThroughout ItalyHabitat LossHibernates from November to April
Aeolian Wall LizardRaffone’s Wall LizardCritically EndangeredAeolian IslandsCompetition with Italian Wall LizardOnly Four Populations Remain
Salmo Carpio Carpione, Carpione del GardaCritically EndangeredOnly in Lake GardaOverfishing, Pollution, CompetitionDidn’t Survive in any Other Lakes to which it Was Introduced
Salmo FibreniFibreno TroutVulnerableLago di Posta FibrenoHabitat LossFreshwater Trout
Common Bent-Wing BatSchreibers’s Long-Fingered Bat, Schreibers’s BatVulnerableAfrica, Asia, Europe, Middle EastPesticides, Habitat LossNamed after Austrian Naturalist Carl Franz Anton Ritter von Schreibers
Italian WolfApennine WolfVulnerableApennine Mountains, Western AlpsHuman-Wolf Conflict, PoachingProtected Since 1970s
Marsican Brown BearApennine Brown BearCritically EndangeredApennine MountainsHuman-Bear Conflict, Habitat LossHas a Different Hibernation Routine than Other Brown Bears

Italian officials keep an eye on conservation and the country supports 20 national parks and 130 regional parks. Additionally, lawmakers have carved out 150 federally protected wildlife territories, 270 state ones, and 16 marine reserves. 

Most Dangerous Animals in Italy

Italy is bursting at the seams with fauna species, and some are dangerous! Although, compared to a country like Australia, which is awash in lethal animals, Italy’s creatures are comparatively tame. 

The six most dangerous animals in Italy are:

  1. Marsican Brown Bears
  2. Eurasian Lynx
  3. Asp Vipers
  4. Jellyfish
  5. Weever Fish
  6. Black Widow Spiders

National Animal of Italy

The Italian wolf — also known as the Apennine wolf — is the national animal of Italy. It’s symbolism dates back to the mythological story of Romulus and Remus. According to legend, a shewolf discovered the infant twins and kept them alive via interbreed suckling. Eventually, humans took the boys in, and they went on to found Rome.

Italian wolves are a subspecies of grey wolves and native to the Italian Peninsula. Today, between 600 and 700 individuals are alive and well. But in the not too distant past, only about 70 Italian wolves were left. Thanks to public and private conservation efforts, the species is making a comeback.

Italian Animals


First evolved 100 million years ago!


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!


Has a curved, upturned beak!


Can reach speeds of 30 km/h!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!


There are more than 350,000 different species


Bergamascos are excellent problem solvers; they were bred to be independent as they work alongside their nomadic shepherd owners.


Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Bolognese Dog

From the northern Italian city of Bologna!

Brown Bear

A dominant predator in it's environment!


The most common species of bee!


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.

Cane Corso

Cane Corsos nearly became extinct in the mid 1900’s, but the breed was revived by a group of Italians. Even so, they still didn’t become known in many other parts of the world until after 1988.

Carpenter Ant

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


First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!


The larvae of a moth or butterfly!


There are nearly 3,000 different species!


There are about 3,000 documented species!


Natively found in the European mountains!


First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!


Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans


Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Frog

Found throughout the European continent!

Common House Spider

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

Common Loon

Also known as the Great Northern Diver

Common Raven

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

Common Toad

Most active in wet weather!


There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings


Many are critically endangered species!


There are around 40 different species!


First domesticated in South-East Asia!


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!


There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Edible Frog

Are known to guard the muddy banks!


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


The fastest creatures on the planet!

Fallow deer

The fallow deer has more variation in its coat colors than most other deer.

False Widow Spider

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


Ferrets can be trained to do tricks like dogs!

Fire-Bellied Toad

Found across mainland Europe and Asia!

Fire salamander

Its name comes from the fact that people once believed it was born in fire


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Squirrel

Can glide up to 90 meters!


There are 12 different species in the world!


There are around 7,000 different species!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!


There are 29 different species!


There are 11,000 known species!


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!


Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!


Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Highland Cattle

Natively found in the Scottish Highlands!

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.


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.


Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill


There are an estimated 30 million species!

Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is a miniature dog with a big motor and personality!

Japanese Beetle

Can clear an entire fruit tree in 15 minutes in a swarm


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!


Does not hibernate during the bitter Arctic winter!


There are around 5,000 different species!


Have sharp spines below their eyes


Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Long-Eared Owl

Ear tufts make it look bigger!


They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!


Originally bred in Europe!


A marmot spends 80% of its life below ground

Marsh Frog

Has bright green skin!


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!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!


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!

Neapolitan Mastiff

Fearless and extremely protective of it's home!


Able to regrow lost or damaged limbs!


Named more than 1,000 years ago!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.


Inhabits dark underwater caves

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


There are 13 different species worldwide


Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


Thought to have been domesticated in 9,000 BC!


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


Found in mountainous regions and rocky areas

Pike Fish

Apex freshwater predators with fearsome teeth!

Pine Marten

A pine marten can jump from tree to tree similar to a squirrel.

Pond Skater

There are 500 different species!

Pool Frog

The rarest amphibian in the UK!


There are 30 different species worldwide!

Purple Emperor Butterfly

Inhabits deciduous forests!

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


There are more than 50 different species!


Known to wash their food before eating it!

Raccoon Dog

The only hibernating canine!


Omnivores that eat anything!

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.

Roe Deer

The roe is one of the most popular game animals in Europe


There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Lizard

Males turn green in spring!


There are around 2,000 known species!


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!


Around 35 million in the English countryside!


There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

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

Slow Worm

Found widely throughout British gardens!


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


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Snowy Owl

One of the largest owl species in the world!

Spadefoot Toad

They spend most of their time underground!


There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

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

Spinone Italiano

They're one of the oldest hunting breeds on Earth.


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!


Average adults weigh about 200 grams!


Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tawny Owl

The most widespread owl in Europe!


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!


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

Tiger Moth

The bright colors of this moth are a signal to predators that it has a terrible taste.


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.

Volpino Italiano

Almost went extinct before American Eskimo Dog breeders showed interest.


There are 30 different species worldwide!


There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Water Vole

The largest Vole species in the UK!


The smallest carnivorous mammal in the world!

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

Woodlouse Spider

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


There are 200 different species!

Zebra Mussels

A female zebra mussel can deposit 30,000 to 1,000,000 eggs each year!

Italian Animals List