Animals in French Guiana

Updated: June 10, 2021
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Below you can find a complete list of French Guianese animals. We currently track 227 animals in French Guiana and are adding more every day!

With a coast on the North Atlantic Ocean and borders shared to the west with Suriname and to the south and east with Brazil, French Guiana enjoys a tropical rainforest climate that supports many unique species of wildlife. These include 177 kinds of mammals, 700 kinds of birds, and nearly 500 kinds of fish, some of which are only found in French Guiana. There are also 109 types of amphibians.

The Official National Animal of French Guiana

The national animal of French Guiana is the deer. It is most likely the brocket deer, a small deer that lives in the forests of French Guiana. It is rather unique for an animal because its genus name, Mazama doesn’t come from Latin or Greek, but from the Nahuatl word for “deer.” Brocket is an English word for a young male deer whose antlers haven’t yet branched out. Brocket deer are crucial for dispersing seeds around the Amazon river’s ecosystem. There are about 10 species of brocket deer, though this is controversial.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in French Guiana

One of the most famous places to find wildlife in French Guiana is the Amana Nature Reserve. This reserve is on the coast and is where leatherbacks and other marine turtles haul out to lay their eggs. Other national parks are Ile du Grand Connétable, La Trinité, Lucifer-Dékou-Dékou, which is an integral state biological reserve, Marais de Kaw-Roura and Nouragues.

The Most Dangerous Animals In French Guiana Today

  • Jaguar. Though attacks on humans are rare, this beautiful but dangerous cat, the third largest behind the lion and the tiger, has been known to kill humans.
  • Great white shark. This shark can grow to 20 feet long and weigh over a ton. If a person is going to suffer a serious or even fatal shark attack, the great white is most likely the culprit.
  • Common lancehead. Also called, mistakenly, the fer-de-lance, this snake is highly venomous, irritable, and unpredictable. If it occupies the same territory as other poisonous snakes, it will be the one that causes most of the serious snakebites.
  • Black caiman. Though most types of caiman are not that dangerous to humans, the black caiman is an exception. Males can grow longer than 13 feet and can be aggressive. There were 43 black caiman attacks on humans between 2008 and 2013, and a handful of them was fatal.

Endangered Animals In French Guiana

  • West Indian manatee. These aquatic mammals found in French Guyana’s rivers, wetlands, and off its coasts are vulnerable to going extinct. The West Indian manatee is the largest of the manatees who are still extant.
  • Giant armadillo. This animal of the genus Priodontes is also vulnerable.
  • Sea turtles. Both the leatherback and the green sea turtle are endangered, and the Hawksbill sea turtle is critically in danger of going extinct in the near future. The Olive Ridley sea turtle and the loggerhead sea turtle are both vulnerable to going extinct.
  • Blue whale. This marine mammal, the largest creature on earth at as much as 99 feet long, is endangered.
  • Parrots. Several kinds of French Guianan parrots are in danger of going extinct. They are the yellow-crowned parrot, the blue and yellow macaw, the blue-headed parrot, the chestnut-fronted macaw, the red and green macaw, the red fan parrot, and the black-headed parrot. The scarlet macaw is vulnerable.

French Guianese Animals

Amazon Parrot

These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech

Amazonian Royal Flycatcher

They use their bright royal-looking crests during mating season

Anaconda

They are the heaviest snake in the world

Anhinga

Their name means snake bird

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Anteater

Found throughout the Southern Hemisphere!

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

Barb

There are over 1768 known species!

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!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.

Bee

Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bird

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!

Blue Tanager (Blue-Grey Tanager)

They travel and forage in pairs or groups

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 17,500 species!

Caecilian

Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin

Caiman

Can grow to up 6 meters long!

Caiman Lizard

Caiman lizards are among the largest lizards.

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.

Capybara

Excellent at both diving and swimming

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!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Coati

Found in dense forests and wet jungles!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Collared Peccary

Form bands of up to 12 individuals!

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.

Coral Snake

There are over 80 species of coral snake worldwide.

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

Cricket

Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Crow

A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Discus

One of the only schooling Cichlids!

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Dubia Cockroach

The most popular species of feeder roach

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Dusky Shark

The Dusky Shark sometimes eats trash discarded by humans.

Dwarf Boa

Some species can change color from dark to light, and back again.

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earthworm

They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eastern Meadowlark

They can live up to 9 years.

Eel

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

Electric Eel

Despite its powerful shock, electric eels have terrible vision.

Emerald Tree Boa

Their teeth are as long as a fully-grown reticulated python

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

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

Fer-de-lance Snake

The Most Dangerous Snake in the Americas

Firefly

The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

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!

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Giant Armadillo

Armadillos have a smell that’s described as strong, sweet and acrid.

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Gnat

Males form large mating swarms at dusk

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Great Potoo Bird

At night, they make a terrifying low call that sounds like a distressed moan or growl.

Green Anaconda

Females are often five times longer than males.

Guinea Pig

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!

Guppy

Also known as the Millionfish!

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world

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!

Harris Hawk

Their vision is eight times better than a human's

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.

Hepatic Tanager (Red Tanager)

Parents and their young sing sweetly to each other

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!

Horned Frog

Natively found in South America!

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.

Housefly

The fly has no teeth

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!

IMG Boa Constrictor

The first IMG boa was born in a litter of anerythristic boas.

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jacana

The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jaguar

The largest feline on the American continent!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Kinkajou

The kinkajou is a nimble forest-dwelling mammal of Central and South America.

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Lone Star Tick

Only females have the ‘lone star’ marking

Macaw

The largest species of parrot in the world!

Maggot

Will only live in wet areas

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!

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!

Mosquito

Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood

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!

Muscovy Duck

Unlike most duck species, the Muscovy is silent and only makes noise when excited or threatened.

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

Oscar Fish

The Oscar fish has teeth in its throat!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Panther

Prefers to hunt at night than during the day!

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Parrotlet

Parrotlets aren't the world's tiniest parrot — that would be the pygmy parrot of Australasia.

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.

Pit Viper

Pit vipers's fangs fold up into their mouths when they don't need them.

Platinum Arowana

The male broods the eggs and baby fish in his mouth.

Poison Dart Frog

Inhabits the jungles of Central and South America!

Porcupine

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

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!

Raccoon

Known to wash their food before eating it!

Rainbow Boa

The rainbow boa is named for its iridescent skin that refracts light and creates a rainbow-colored effect.

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are constrictors from the Colubridae family of snakes.

Rattlesnake

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

Red-Footed Tortoise

Male and female Red-Footed Tortoises move their heads to communicate.

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.

Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

Roseate Spoonbill

The only Spoonbill in the western hemisphere!

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Canines up to 7 inches long!

Sable Ferret

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

Salamander

There are more than 700 different species!

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Scarlet Macaw

Like many parrots, the scarlet macaw is capable of vocal mimicry.

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!

Shrew

The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Silver Dollar

Closely related to the Piranha

Skink Lizard

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

Skunk

Also known as the Polecat!

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

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case

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 Monkey

Found in the tropical jungles of South America!

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!

Stork

They can’t sing like other birds.

Summer Tanager

They remove bee stingers by rubbing them against a tree

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tapir

Most closely related to horses and rhinos!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Tetra

Native to the freshwater streams of South America!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tick

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

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!

Tufted Coquette

They are tame and easy to approach

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!

Unau (Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth)

Its top speed is 0.17mph

Upland Sandpiper

They make jerky movements as they walk through the grass, searching for food.

Vampire Bat

Have a heat sensor on the end of their nose!

Vine Snake

A slender body and elongated snout give the vine snake a regal look.

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!

Wattled Jacana

They are typically noisy birds but take on a soft tone with their young.

Whiptail Lizard

Many whiptail species reproduce asexually.

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

Whitetail Deer

Although deer are herbivores, they will sometimes eat mice and birds when they can catch them.

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Wood Turtle

Temperature determines the sex of turtle eggs

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

X-Ray Tetra

Yellow, black and white striped fins!

French Guianese 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 French Guiana FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals do they hunt in French Guiana?

Animals that are hunted in French Guiana include the tapir, the agouti, peccaries, and brocket deer. People also hunt trumpet birds, the Penelope guan and doves. Crocodilians are hunted, as are iguanas. Primates that people hunt include spider monkeys, howler monkeys, tufted capuchins and tamarins.

What animals live in French Guiana?

Though French Guiana is a small country it is abundant in wildlife. Mammals include squirrels, monkeys, many species of bats, the capybara, unique for being the largest rodent in the world at about 4 feet long, 2 feet high at the shoulders and a weight between 77 to 146 pounds. Other mammals are opossums, porcupines, ocelots and a weasel-like animal called the tayra.

Marine mammals include dolphins, whales and manatees. The country has the river otter and the giant otter, anteaters, mice and rats, including the Trinidad Arboreal rice rat, agoutis and acouchis and a cottontail rabbit called the tapeti. Wild cats are the oncilla, the margay and the jaguarundi. There are also pumas, foxes and raccoons.

Birds found in French Guyana include parrots, many of whom have feathers in brilliant, primary colors and many of whom are threatened with extinction. Waterfowl such as egrets, ibises, anhinga, herons, and turnstones are to be found, as are songbirds such as the tropical kingbird, tanagers, ground doves, and the great kiskadee. Birds of prey include the roadside hawk, the black vulture, the black hawk-eagle, the harpy eagle, and the peregrine falcon, known for its great speed. Birds known for their unique and startling coloration besides the parrots include hummingbirds, the cock-of-the-rock, the toucan, tanagers, the blue dacnis, the purple honeycreeper, the Guiana toucanet, the spangled cotinga, the Amazonian motmot, the comb duck and the scarlet ibis.

Reptiles besides the caiman, sea turtles and lancehead include iguanas, anoles, the anaconda, geckos, vine snakes, thread snakes, and boa constrictors. Other reptiles include the Brazilian giant tortoise, skinks, worm lizards, and racerunners. The Amazonia mata mata, a huge and ugly turtle, also lives in the rivers, streams, and swamps of French Guiana. Amphibians include poison dart frogs, tree frogs and the cane toad. Glass frogs, whose underparts are transparent, also live in French Guiana. Other amphibians are caecilians, which look like snakes but are not.

Insects of French Guiana include grasshoppers and many types of butterflies and moths, including the gorgeous red peacock butterfly and Menelaus morpho butterfly. The country is also home to the bullet ant, whose bite is so painful it feels like being shot, hence its name. There’s also a tiny bug that looks made out of golden glitter called Agroiconota judaica. Spiders include the pinktoe tarantula, the Goliath birdeater, the pantropical huntsman spider and the Brazilian wandering spider.

Fish include types of catfish, Atlantic sturgeon, chiclids, foureyes, anchovies, the black ghost, the fat snook, the fat sleeper, tetras, mojaras, eartheaters, knifefish, the electric eel, tarpons and swamp guppies.

What is the national animal of French Guiana?

The deer is the national animal of French Guiana.